Sadiq Khan has unveiled a new campaign pushing for more powers over housing in London, in a bid to combat the capital’s soaring rent prices.
The campaign, which will be the centrepiece of Khan’s 2020 electoral bid, calls on the Government to pass stronger powers over to the mayor’s office, which would allow Khan to regulate rent prices and give tenants greater rights under law.
Writing in today’s Metro, Khan said: “Over the last decade, the housing crisis has forced more and more Londoners to rent privately. This rise has exposed just how out of date and unfit for purpose the laws are that are meant to protect renters.”
Adding: “This, and the insecurity faced by many renters, has driven poverty, exacerbated inequality and prevented many people from reaching their potential.”
Mr Khan’s proposals would facilitate a wide-ranging overhaul of the renting system. Currently, landlords can set their own rent prices and terminate a tenancy without disclosing a reason. Mr Khan’s proposals would aim to control rent prices, implement legislation that would cap rent increases at no higher than inflation, and forbid landlords from evicting tenants without a valid reason. The mayor is also pushing for open-ended tenancies.
The average rent price in London rose by 38% between 2005 and 2016, with the price of an average one-bedroom home in London being higher than a three-bedroom home in any other part of the country.
Khan is set to develop his plans with deputy mayor for housing, James Murray and then present them to the government.
However, Mr Khan is unlikely to find support. Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire has continually argued that Khan’s proposed controls would lead to poorer housing standards, leaving landlords unable to maintain properties.