Green Party mayoral candidate and Highgate councillor Sian Berry wants rent controls for Londoners

Sian Berry, Green Party

Sian Berry, Green Party - Credit: Archant

Green Party mayoral candidate and Highgate councillor, Sian Berry, has launched her official manifesto, with a pledge to try and bring in rent controls across London.

In order to introduce rent controls, Ms Berry would have to persuade the Conservative government to devolve greater powers to City Hall, which her opponents claim is highly unlikely to happen.

Labour candidate Sadiq Khan has pledged to introduce a “London living rent” scheme as part of his campaign to make this mayoral race “a manifesto on housing”, although his policies do not go as far as Ms Berry’s in attempting to regulate the private rental market.

Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith is opposed to rent controls in any form, because he said he “cannot think of a single instance in which rent control has worked. All you do is reduce supply”.

Liberal Democrat candidate Caroline Pidgeon has pledged to crack down on rogue landlords and offer more secure tenancies to those in the private rented sector, whilst stopping short of calling for rent control.

All the main candidates have pledged to build more “affordable” housing through various means, although they differ on their definition of affordable.

Ms Berry’s policies are rated as being the most friendly towards the growing “generation rent” stuck in the private rented sector well beyond their youth by the website,

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Ms Berry also wants to set up a London Renters Union, funded by City Hall, to help lobby the mayor directly, tackle rising rents and expose rogue letting agents.

She also pledged to ensure 200,000 homes are built across London, and wants these homes to be built by smaller companies and housing associations.

Ms Berry works as a transport campaigner and some of her more high-profile campaign pledges so far have focused on transport, with a promise to abolish existing tube zones in order to simplify and lower fares.

The Green Party candidate has also put the campaign for cleaner air high on the election agenda by highlighting the illegal levels of pollution in many areas of London, including Camden.

She is proposing a range of measures to tackle pollution in the capital, including giving greater support for cycling and public transport.

She opposes new runways at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, and wants to close City Airport to build a new living quarter for London.

Ms Berry is also proposing a Central Bank for London to support small businesses and greater investment in community policing.