Arthur takes a look at the Labour conference in Brighton, where Jeremy Corbyn called for the United Kingdom to introduce rent controls much like cities in Europe.
The leader of the Labour party addressed social housing in his key notes speech in Brighton on Wednesday. Jeremy Corbyn called out the current Conservative party government for the state of the housing market, claiming that many weren’t even fit for human habitation. These calls come in the wake of the Grenfell disaster, which has seen property managers’ contracts terminated for their failure to provide suitable housing. Corbyn then went on to state that a Labour government would introduce rent control in Britain’s cities. He followed the lead of several European countries, including Germany, that have recently decided rent control is the best way to prevent the rapid increase in rent prices. Mr Corbyn argued that the fact that younger people’s rent was now three times more than their grandparents proved that the current situation was ‘not sustainable’.
Later on, he reiterated Ed Miliband’s promise of ‘use it or loose it’, threatening developers that sit on land whilst they wait for prices to rise. In Corbyn’s vision, the government would have compulsory buy-back ability when developers failed to use the land.
During his speech, the topic of tenant’s rights was broached. Rent control would make a large difference in the right’s tenants can enforce on a landlord, but Britain still falls short of its continental counterparts. With Brexit looming large too, there is no way of knowing what will remain and what will go.
Rent control is a very divisive topic in communities throughout the world. They can hamstring landlords and often cause tension between them and their tenants. However, with an ever increasing amount of people renting for the majority of their lives, are laws like rent control going to become more commonplace?