Mayor Candidates Call For Cuts In Private Rents

Date Published 19 April 2012

Two London mayoral hopefuls have come up with housing strategies in their manifestos.

Brian Paddick and Siobhan Benita have both unveiled plans that would effectively cut private rents throughout the capital.

Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson have also put housing at the centre of their manifestos. Livingstone would, if elected, set up a not-profit lettings agency for private landlords and tenants.

LibDem Paddick has pledged to build 360,000 new homes in the next ten years if he is elected, and introduce a ‘living rent’ whereby Londoners would pay no more than one-third of their net salary on rent.

He says that currently tenants in the social rented sector spend 37% of their income on rent, while private rented households spend more than half of their pay on housing costs in 22 of London’s 33 boroughs.

Independent candidate Benita would create a new department called Homes for London which would be responsible for implementing her policies.

She would create a fixed-price housing market built on council-owned land. The land would be given to developers, but homes built on it would have to be sold into a regulated housing market controlled by Homes for London. These would be sold or let at around half the market rate.

She would also set up a ‘mayor’s lettings MOT’ to improve standards in the private rented sector.