The Mayor of London plans to introduce rent controls in the capital, and has called on the Government to give him the powers to do so.

Sadiq Khan says central government should also make tenancies more secure by introducing open-ended rentals and stopping no fault evictions.

But critics say rent controls would drive down the quality of housing and mask the lack of new builds in London.

There are 2.4 million renters in the capital, and since 2010 the cost of renting has increased much faster than wages – tenants now spend on average up to 61 per cent of earnings on rent.

Dan Wilson Craw, director of Generation Rent, said Londoners needed urgent help.

He said: “As long as your landlord can evict without needing a reason, or raise your rent by more than you can afford, the rental market can never offer you a true home.”

The Mayor today called for powers to set up a register of all landlords, and a private renters' commission to manage a gradual reduction in rents.

He also challenged the Government to improve renter security by scrapping break clauses, and increasing the landlord-to-tenant notice period to four months.

Sadiq Khan said a complete overhaul of London’s rental market was “long overdue”.

He said: “We have made important progress over the past three years by working closely with councils and renters – from naming and shaming rogue landlords and banning letting agents fees for tenants, to being part of the successful campaign to scrap Section 21."

Under a Section 21 notice landlords can give tenants two months to move out, without providing a reason for their decision – but the Government announced plans to scrap these types of eviction in April.

The Mayor said: "Now we need the Government to play their part by making tenancy laws fit for purpose, and by enabling us to bring in the rent control Londoners so urgently need.”

But Andrew Boff, Conservative housing spokesperson at City Hall, said the Mayor was failing to build enough affordable homes in the capital.

He said: “History shows that experimenting with rent controls can lead to deteriorating property standards, fewer homes to rent and even higher rents. Londoners deserve better than this flawed approach.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of letting and sales agent Benham and Reeves, said a rent freeze was “not far short of idiotic”, and building more homes would bring rents down.

He said: “Landlords are the lifeblood of the rental market – they need to be encouraged to remain in the sector, not to exit it.”