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Apr 30th, 2015

Bristol West: Which candidates support rent controls?

By 38 Degrees team

Over 12,000 of us have signed the petition telling letting agent CJ Hole to stop pushing up rents in Bristol. Right now, there aren’t many rules to stop letting agents from forcing tenants to pay more or move out. But the next government could sort this out.

So 38 Degrees members asked Bristol West’s MP candidates if they’d support rules to stop unfair rent hikes if they were elected.

For many renters in Bristol, housing could be one of the deciding issues when they cast their vote on May 7th. Can you share where the candidates stand to help people make an informed choice when they vote for Bristol’s next MP?

This election in a one-in-five-years chance to pick an MP who’ll support renters, and keep Bristol affordable.

38 Degrees members are helping to make sure as many people as possible know what the candidates plan to do.


Thangam Debbonaire (Labour)
Yes and this is in Labour’s manifesto.

Stephen Williams (Liberal Democrat)
The Liberal Democrats believe that rent prices are too high but we do not think that introducing rent controls is the right way to bring down high rents. We believe that building more houses and increasing supply will be more effective at bringing down prices in the long term and providing more choice for renters. Evidence from Britain and around the world shows that rent controls can lead to fewer properties on the market, and higher rents as a result. A price freeze, as proposed by Labour, would bump up rents as landlords raise prices before the freeze takes effect.

Claire Hiscott (Conservative)
I support house building to balance supply and demand. When something is in short supply the price goes up! By building more homes we increase choice for both renters and buyers. This controls inflation in the market and prices stabilise. House building is something we are committed to as Conservatives, particularly for the under 40′s looking for first homes. We are committed to increasing both private and council home building to meet the demand of our increasing population – making sure we build the right type of homes, that are sustainable, affordable and energy efficient.

Darren Hall (Green)
The rental market has got completely out of control, with landlords able to treat tenants extremely poorly. The entire system needs an overhaul, but in the meantime, the adoption of an ethical lettings charter along with long term tenancies and agreed rent controls is essential to stabilise the social rental market.

Stewart Weston (Left Unity)
Left Unity would introduce rent controls, security of tenure and support the creation of tenants’ cooperatives to run estates. Local authorities should be given new powers of inspection and regulation of private rentals to ensure they are up to standard.

Dawn Parry (Independents for Bristol)

Paul Turner (UKIP)

You can read Bristol West’s candidates’ answers to questions on the NHS, fracking and many other issues here.

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