Landlord giant Grainger sees limited effect from Sadiq Khan’s London rental market overhaul

Grainger summed up its thoughts very succinctly: “The proposals if implemented have limited effect on Grainger's business”

sadiq khan
Grainger has almost 2,000 rental properties in London

Sadiq Khan has promised an overhaul of the rental market in London if he is re-elected as London mayor again next year, but landlord Grainger PLC (LON:GRI) doesn’t expect his plans to have much effect on its own business.

Grainger, which is worth £1.5bn, is the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, with almost 2,000 rental properties in the capital alone.

Mayor's report to be launched today

Khan wants the government to give him more powers so he can put in place measures to bring down rents in London, where he claims the average private rent for a one-bedroom home is now more than the average for a three-bed home in every other region of England.

The mayor’s report, which he is due to launch at City Hall later today, will include effective rent controls, limiting how much landlords can charge, as well the creation of a universal register of landlords.

Khan hopes his plans will lead to an “overhaul of tenancy laws”, although Grainger bosses aren’t so sure they will lead to much change.

“The proposals if implemented have limited effect on Grainger's business,” the company said in a short response on Friday.

Grainger refinances GRIP portfolio

In a separate statement, Grainger confirmed it had refinanced £275mln of debt, on which it is now paying 2.3% interest, down from 3.2% before.

The refinancing relates to the GRIP portfolio of 1,700 homes that the company acquired from its joint venture partner, APG, last December.

“This deal supports Grainger's ambition to grow as the UK's leading residential landlord, with a strong balance sheet and financing that matches the long-term, low-risk nature of private rental assets,” said chief executive Helen Gordon.

Gordon added that the refinancing marks the final stage of integration of the GRIP portfolio.

Grainger shares were broadly flat at the opening bell on Friday at 236.3p.

Quick facts: Grainger

Price: 335.8 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £20.56 m

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