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 Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:55

Police are appealing for witnesses after the death of a woman who was hit by a coach in Camden.

Yesterday, 16:38

A City boss from Hampstead likened to the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ has been jailed for a year after sexually assaulting two women.

Yesterday, 16:34

A pedestrian was hit by a car in South Grove in a road traffic collision this afternoon.

Yesterday, 13:27

Welcome, hope and tolerance have been the three key messages for students learning about refugees.

Thu, 17:30

Camden Council has claimed a “major victory” after Airbnb announced today that it will limit entire home listings to 90 days a year in London.

Thu, 16:53

Haringey has the third-highest proportion of homeless residents in England, new figures have revealed.

Thu, 16:31

In the first of a series written from the Greek town of Thessaloniki, currently home to more than 20,000 refugees, a trainee journalist from Kentish Town writes about her life as a volunteer

Thu, 15:24

A pair of Barnet schools believe the future is bright after announcing a “strategic partnership” on Monday.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now