Labour sets out plans to cap rent increases

Labour sets out plans to cap rent increases

It’s often said that renters can end up financially worse off than homebuyers thanks to the fees they have to pay and the unpredictability of the rents they face.

Now the Labour Party has set out plans to help renters in the UK save over £600 each by placing a cap on rent increases - which have reached £1,020 a year since 2010 - and abolishing letting agent fees, which are around £350 per new tenancy on average.

Speaking on Tuesday, party leader Ed Miliband said a total of £2.5 billion could be saved by the UK’s nine million tenants under his plans in the next parliament. 

He noted that many of these renters are families and young people who he claimed have been “let down” by the current government.

“The amount needed for a deposit on a home has risen beyond the reach of millions of young people and families starting out,” Mr Miliband remarked.

“As well as building more houses and helping people get on the property ladder, a Labour government will take action immediately to make life better for all those renting their home.”

The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have previously expressed an intention to help renters in the UK, but haven’t yet committed to controls such as a cap on rent increases.

Average rents for new tenancies were up by 7.6 per cent in December compared with the same month in 2013, according to figures from HomeLet. This annual growth was significantly higher than that recorded between 2011 and 2013.

Rental values in London rose by £149 to £1,393 per month over the course of 2014, compared with an average of £694 for the rest of the UK.

“Renters have to work two days a week - the equivalent of working every day until the 28th May this year - before they pay the rent,” said Emma Reynolds, Labour’s shadow housing minister.