Shelter has spoken out against Labour plans to impose rent controls on landlords if they were to come to power in the next general election.
The housing charity said that Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to slap rent controls on landlords could ‘end up harming’ those he intends to help.
Shelter also referred to the Grenfell Tower blaze whilst urging the Labour leader to deliver on their promise to ‘listen to tenants in a meaningful way’.
Mr Corbyun brought up the subject in his closing address at the Labour conference in Brighton, where he pledged to ‘end forced gentrification and social clensing’ by giving social tenants more rights.
He also said in his address: ‘Rent controls exist in many cities across the world and I want our cities to have those powers too and tenants to have those protections.’
However, Shelter chief executive officer, Polly Neale, said of the address: ‘Shelter supports controls that lengthen tenancies and protect families from unfair rent rises, but not old fashioned rent-setting which we think could end up harming the very people on low incomes they’re meant to help, if and when landlords sell their properties.’
She went on to say: ‘After the horrific tragedy of the Grenfell fire we believe it is absolutely essential to listen to tenants in a meaningful way and we hope the Labour party will deliver on their promise to do so.’
Landlords were understandably not impressed with the address from the Labour leader.
Policy director of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), David Smith, reacted: ‘Rent controls would be a disaster for tenants. History has proved that they stifle investment and reduce supply; making it much more difficult for tenants to find somewhere decent to live.’
The Conservatives also took aim at the speech, saying it ‘summed up the problem with Labour: lots of big promises, but no explanation of how they would deliver them’.