NRLA supports Labour’s plan to end rental bidding wars

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has expressed its support for Labour’s proposal to stop landlords and letting agents from enabling bidding wars by requiring them to advertise proposed rents based on market rates and prohibiting bids above those figures.

Labour’s Proposal on Rental Listings
Labour’s manifesto includes a pledge to halt bidding wars, suggesting national regulation of property advertisements by letting agents and landlords. The NRLA agrees that rents should be advertised transparently and in line with market conditions. They stated, “Reports that some letting agents are encouraging payments above this are concerning. We agree with the principle of measures that would mean tenants could not be actively encouraged to bid above asking rental prices.”

The NRLA clarified that while tenants could still offer above the advertised rents, agents and landlords would not be allowed to encourage such bids. “After all, this should not be needed if rents have been advertised in line with market conditions,” the statement added.

Opposition to Rent Controls
Despite supporting the end of bidding wars, the NRLA is clear in its opposition to rent controls. “What Labour is proposing is not telling the market what rents should be. The NRLA remains firmly against any forms of rent control,” the association stated.

Call for Detailed Implementation Plans
Chris Norris, Policy and Campaigns Director for the NRLA, emphasised the need for more information on how Labour’s proposal would be implemented and enforced. He said, “While we agree with the principle of ending ‘bidding wars’ to tackle the actions of those who do promote such practices, more detail is needed about how this would work and be enforced. With an average of 15 households chasing every available home to rent, the next government needs to clarify how they feel landlords and agents should decide who to rent to.”

Addressing Supply and Demand Imbalance
Norris highlighted the need to address the imbalance between supply and demand in the rental market. He stressed that increasing the supply of homes for private rent is crucial, along with keeping housing benefit rates unfrozen for the duration of the next Parliament. “The only real solution to improving access to rental housing is firm action to boost the supply of homes for private rent alongside all other tenures,” he concluded.

While the NRLA supports Labour’s initiative to end rental bidding wars, they emphasise the need for careful implementation and oppose any form of rent control. The association also calls for measures to address the broader issue of housing supply to ensure a balanced and fair rental market.