UK's largest private landlord Kevin Green warns against cap on rents
The UK's largest private sector housing landlord, Kevin Green, has warned against a Labour Party proposal to cap rent increases.
"Meddling with the free market always leads to fallout in some shape or form," the 50-year-old social entrepreneur said.
"I know some people will say, 'Yes, he is bound to argue against rentals caps as he is a landlord.' But it is not all about self-interest. It is about common-sense.
"I've built up years of experience in the marketplace in private sector housing - so I know what works and what doesn't work.
"Believe you me, this Labour Party idea won't work.
"It is a policy that the Labour Party thinks will score them brownie points with the general public.
"But I simply don't agree with capping the rent market.
"Whenever a free market supply and demand is meddled with, there is always fallout, which will inevitably cost the Government more money.
"It makes no commercial sense whatsoever to cap rents to private tenants.
"A natural supply and demands market should be allowed to prevail."
Mr Green added: "The important thing in the housing market is to ensure that we have responsible landlords who care about their tenants and work hard to provide safe and secure accommodation for people who need it."
Labour leader Ed Miliband said this week that a future Labour government would cap rent increases in the private sector and scrap letting fees to estate agents to give a "fairer deal" to tenants.
Mr Miliband pledged to end "excessive" rent rises when he launched his party's campaign for local council and European elections.
The Conservatives responded quickly and said evidence from other countries suggested rent controls lead to "poorer quality accommodation, fewer homes being rented and ultimately higher rents".
Mr Green said the rental issue was simply a matter of what was best for the marketplace.
But he added: "I do agree with the Labour proposals to scrap letting fees to estate agents to give a "fairer deal" to tenants.
"Some letting agents are charging excessive amounts and something needs to be done to rein them in."
BBC story on Ed Miliband's plans -