Search

Camden Council to explore ways of capping rent prices set by private landlords

08:00 14 July 2014

Cllr Julian Fulbrook.

Cllr Julian Fulbrook.

submitted

Camden Council has hired a leading housing expert to explore ways of controlling the spiralling cost of private rent.

"We may not be using all the levers that we have at our disposal to deal with a very difficult problem, which is an overheated private rented sector in Camden"

Cllr Julian Fulbrook

Christine Whitehead, professor of housing economics at the London School of Economics (LSE), will examine how the council can stem the rapid rise.

The council is considering offering financial incentives to private landlords who agree to cap rent increases in line with inflation.

Cllr Julian Fulbrook, cabinet member for housing, said: “Rents in the borough are unbelievable. There are some enormous amounts being talked about. Private sector tenants have some very lurid tales about how landlords are putting up rents.

“We may not be using all the levers that we have at our disposal to deal with a very difficult problem, which is an overheated private rented sector in Camden.

“We don’t necessarily need to wait for national legislation to deal with this because we already have relationships with private landlords and many of them have already said they welcome this.”

Cllr Fulbrook, who worked with Professor Whitehead when he was a law professor at the LSE, said his former colleague would look at the prospect of offering loans for capital repairs to private landlords in exchange for them signing up to a council “rent stabilisation scheme”.

“If we are handing out council money, maybe we ought to consider if there are strings attached to some of the loans to landlords,” said Cllr Fulbrook.

Cllr Fulbrook said registered landlords would benefit from a “kitemark saying, Camden Council-approved”.

In April, Labour leader Ed Miliband unveiled his party’s proposals to cap rent increases and introduce mandatory three-year tenancies in the private sector.

The LSE report will examine how private landlords can be encouraged to offer longer-term lets to give families and older tenants more security.

Cllr Fulbrook said the report’s findings, due in the autumn, would be “filtering through to one of our local residents, Ed Miliband, to see what a future Labour government could do”.

Private landlord, Conservative councillor Jonny Bucknell, of Belsize ward, said: “The reason that rents are so high is that prices are so high. Rents have got to be proportionate to house prices. Any sort of cap will deter people from coming into the marketplace.

“What has worked incredibly well is deregulation and the private market has taken off. Any whiff of regulation could put people off coming into the market.”

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:46
Mike Freer. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

With just under three weeks left until the general election, Conservative Mike Freer is locked in a fierce battle with Labour’s Sarah Sackman for re-election as Finchley and Golders Green MP. Tim Lamden caught up with Mr Freer ahead of the May 7 election.

Yesterday, 17:00
The boy dragged the female victim into the bushes in Ainger Road in Primrose Hill. Picture: Google Streetview

A boy has pleaded guilty to sexual assault after a woman was dragged into the bushes and had her clothes ripped off in a brutal attack in Primrose Hill.

Yesterday, 14:38
Officers found the young man lying on the ground in Gilbeys Yard. Picture: Google Streetview

Police officers helped save the life of a young man after he was victim to a brutal stabbing in the heart of Camden Town.

Yesterday, 14:33
The number 13 bus. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has stepped in to save the much-loved number 13 bus service which was set to be scrapped by Transport for London (TfL).

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Seasons 1-4 on Blu-ray, as well as a shiny new Sony Blu-ray player could be coming your way!

To celebrate the fifth series of George RR Martin and HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones, Ladbrokes is giving away a series one to four Blu-ray box set along with a Sony Blu-ray player to one lucky winner!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder