Bristol City Council to push for rent controls as housing costs skyrocket

Council chiefs are lobbying the government to give them the power to introduce rent controls

Labour Councillors in Bristol have put forward a motion to implement rent controls claiming that housing costs in the city are becoming “increasingly unaffordable”.

While they currently do not have the legal powers to put rent controls into effect, Bristol City Council will vote next week on whether to apply measures to aid citizens.

Council figures show that 29 per cent of homes are currently privately rented in Bristol and over the last ten years the cost of privately renting a home in the city has risen by over 50 per cent.

Council Chiefs are lobbying the government to allow them to implement rent controls which would protect tenants from their landlord increasing rent by an unreasonable amount.

Rent controls are price caps based on inflation and average wages.

Councillor Tom Renhard has put forward a motion concerning rent controls which will be discussed on Tuesday at a full council meeting.

The motion stated: “Rent controls are needed in Bristol to stop homes in the private rented sector becoming increasingly unaffordable. Landlord licensing schemes are an effective tool to improve conditions in the private rented sector, and these schemes should be expanded city-wide.”

Due to students from both the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England (UWE) making up a large proportion of the private renters in the city, the increase in the cost of renting has led to many students facing financial difficulties.

A second-year student living in Redland told The Tab: “Currently our weekly rent is £150, but next year it has gone up to around £175. It has made it impossible for us to stay there as it’s simply unaffordable so we have had to move somewhere further away from the university.”

This is a familiar story for many students currently house hunting ahead of the next academic year as prices are skyrocketing to unaffordable levels.

The motion by Bristol City Council to change the law and consequently introduce rent controls could provide hope for students across the city currently struggling with the increasing cost of rent.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Police appeal for information after burglary in Bristol city-centre student accommodation