A poll for tenants’ campaign group Generation Rent apparently shows that Britain overwhelmingly backs the return of rent controls.
The poll by Survation of 1,009 people on 18 and 19 December shows that 59% of people back rent controls and only 6.8% of people oppose them. 34% had no opinion.
Surprisingly, rent controls were popular with the supporters of all political parties with 55% of Conservative supporters backing the measure and 58% of UKIP supporters. The measure had 69% and 70% backing from Labour and LibDem supporters respectively.
While rent controls were predictably popular with private sector tenants, receiving the backing of 77%, there was a surprisingly high level of endorsement from homeowners, 56% of whom backed the measure.
The absence of rent controls hit the headlines in 2014 when the residents of the New Era Estate in Hackney were faced with almost 200% rent increases. In the face of public support, and a 349,000 name petition handed in to Downing Street, the owners of the estate finally agreed to transfer ownership to a housing charity.
Generation Rent Director Alex Hilton said: “The high level of support from home owners indicates concern and sympathy from an older generation for a largely younger generation condemned by high house prices to a lifetime of rent slavery. Private sector renters are now spending upwards of 40% of their incomes on rent.
“By supporting rent control, politicians have an opportunity to do something that will have real, beneficial impact to millions of people while at the same time saving the taxpayer money through the Housing Benefit bill, £9 billion of which goes straight into the pockets of private sector landlords.”
Generation Rent is holding the first Hustings of the General Election on 4 4February at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster. Representatives from the Conservative, Labour, LibDem, UKIP and Green Parties will debate rent controls among other issues.