Private landlords slam NHF chief's comments on potential rent caps
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Finance
Westminster negotiates lower private rents on former council flats
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has slammed the National Housing Federation (NHF) chief executive's comments on possible rental controls.
Speaking at the NHF conference in Birmingham last week, David Orr said it would be “incomprehensibly stupid” to instantly dismiss the idea of capping private sector rents but stressed he was just raising ideas for frank discussion.
However, the RLA has defended rents in the sector, claiming that costs rose by just 1.3% between May 2013 and May 2013, well below inflation.
The association has also highlighted research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that suggested rent controls lead to "greatly reduced quality and quantity of new homes".
Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said: “I am disappointed by David Orr’s refusal to accept basic housing economics.
“His calls for rent controls are based largely on a select few areas of London Boroughs that have seen rents rise as a result of an acute housing shortage across all tenures. Private sector landlords would no doubt be able to keep costs down if they too enjoyed the kind of public subsidies enjoyed by Housing Associations.
“Rent controls are the same as using a sticking plaster to treat the flu. The problem David Orr highlights is one of supply which would be critically undermined by capping rents. The RLA has produced its manifesto for growth in the sector; it is a shame that Mr Orr has not done the same.
“I would be very pleased to welcome Mr Orr to the RLA’s Labour conference fringe event next week to contribute to the debate on this.”