General Election 2015: Rent controls pledged by Labour to woo "generation rent"

Lynsey Barber
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Labour makes a last-minute promise to renters (Source: Getty)

Ed Miliband is seeking to woo a generation of voters priced out of the property market with a promise to stop landlords making significant increases to rents.

The Labour leader has pledged to cap rent rises at no more than the rate of inflation over the term of a three-year tenancy if elected at the General Election which is less than two weeks away.

"Generation rent are the young, families with children and middle income earners who being are priced out of the housing market," said Miliband. "Labour will build the homes which local people want to buy. But we will never turn our backs on generation rent. And we want to encourage all those responsible landlords who provide decent homes for people and stable income for themselves."

The party will also force landlords and letting agents to become more transparent and disclose the rental price paid by former tenants and so-called "rogue landlords" who fail to offer basic standards of living in their properties will be penalised with a reduction in buy-to-let tax relief.

The plans are an extension of previous pledges made by Labour to address the rental market which includes longer term tenancies of three years, a ban on letting agent fees and a national register of landlords.

The last minute promise was widely criticised when the Labour party raised the prospect of rent controls last year. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) called the idea "ill-thought through", warning that it risked damaging the supply and quality of rental homes on the market.

In a paper last year the Institute of Economic Affairs warned rent controls could result in higher prices.

More than 1.3m households in the UK are privately renting, paying on average £902 per month across the UK and in London £1,427. In the past year, the cost of renting has gone up 10 per cent.

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