Sadiq Khan started his campaign to be re-elected as London mayor at a Hackney estate on Tuesday with a pledge to control rent prices and tackle London’s housing crisis.
Speaking at the DeBeauvior estate he said: “The Tories and big landlord lobbyists might not like it, but Londoners need rent controls now.”
“That’s why today, I am making the mayoral election on 7 May a referendum on rent controls – showing Londoners that I will stand up for renters. The prime minister will have to give us the powers we need, because if he refuses to do so, he will be denying the express democratic will of millions of Londoners. And as we have all heard Boris Johnson repeatedly say himself, the democratic will of the people must be respected, and it is not for politicians to frustrate it.”
Khan said he wanted to put in place guidelines to control rent prices to make it fairer for private renters.
Currently, Khan has no power over rent prices in the private rented sector.
He said: “The case for rent controls is now absolutely undeniable.”
Last year, Khan commissioned a report to discover how rent controls could be implemented in London. It found that more Londoners are renting privately, with figures expected to rise.
The report also suggested a ‘London Model’ which would help protect London renters by scrapping ‘no fault’ evictions.
Other cities such as Berlin and New York have rent control schemes.
There are many different ways rent can be controlled. For instance, rent can be capped at existing market value or rent cannot be increased once the tenancy has started.
The Guardian reported that: “there are 2.4 million private tenants across the capital, spending on average 43% of their income on rent”.