• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Surveyors attack Labour rent cap plan

Labour leader Ed Miliband's call for a cap on rent rises has come under fire from the industry body he said backed the idea.

Plan: Labour hope to get votes from 'generation rent' by calling for a cap on charges for those not in the the buyers' market.
Plan: Labour hope to get votes from 'generation rent' by calling for a cap on charges for those not in the the buyers' market.

Labour said the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) was looking at an "appropriate benchmark" such as the average rents in an area or inflation. But RICS said it had no such proposals and it would not recommend ministers introduce a cap.

The Tories described the RICS comments as "embarrassing" for Labour. Mr Miliband unveiled the plans yesterday as part of Labour's European elections campaign.

Labour is keen to appeal to so-called "generation rent", the growing number of people locked out of the housing market because they struggle to get a mortgage. Under the plans, three-year fixed-rent tenancies would become standard. Letting fees would be abolished and landlords could only serve renters with two months' notice to leave with "good reason".

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS' head of policy and parliamentary affairs, said: "It is always important to consider all options which could potentially expand the supply of private rented homes, and to explore any that might make a positive impact on the sector.

"However, RICS is not developing proposals on rent benchmarks for the private rented sector, and we do not recommend that a government introduce a ceiling on rent increases. Labour is right to talk about 'generation rent', but arbitrary caps are not a solution."

Tory chairman Mr Shapps said: "Evidence from Britain and around the world conclusively demonstrates that rent controls lead to poorer quality accommodation, fewer homes being rented and ultimately higher rents - hurting those most in need."

Labour denied the plans amounted to rent controls and pointed to comments from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles supporting inflation-linked rent review clauses.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.