A leading free market thinktank claims Ed Miliband's pledge to cap rent rises in the private sector "defy economic logic" and will end up harming the poor.
Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said the proposal to make tenancies three years long might "lead to landlords being uncooperative in the hope that tenants leave early".
He claimed the "key factor" in high rents was a shortage of housing and called on politicians to reform "draconian planning laws" to boost supply.
The Conservatives have attacked Labour's proposal to cap private sector rent rises a "short-term gimmick".
Tory chairman Grant Shapps also claimed the policy was inspired by the leader the Unite trade union, Len McCluskey.
“Evidence from Britain and around the world conclusively demonstrates that rent controls lead to poorer quality accommodation, fewer homes being rented and ultimately higher rents – hurting those most in need," Mr Shapps said.
"And it’s yet another Labour policy bought by Ed Miliband’s union boss, Len McCluskey.
Labour would cap private sector rent rises, ban letting agents charging tenants fees and introduce three-year tenancies, Ed Miliband will promise as he launches the party's campaign for the European and local elections.
The Opposition leader will warn that increasing numbers of renters face "terrible insecurity" at the hands of unscrupulous landlords.
"Nine million people are living in rented homes today, over a million families, and over two million children. That is why a Labour government will take action to deliver fairer deal for them," Miliband will say.
The Citizens Advice Bureau has warned that the UK is "on the edge of a serious housing crisis" after releasing data on the increase in cases it has dealt with relating to rent arrears and threatened homelessness.
Social housing tenants are facing an increased threat of homelessness, the Citizen's Advice Bureau has warned, after cases of rent arrears cases reported to the charity rose 13 per cent from July to September this year.
Citizens Advice warned that despite growing confidence in the UK's economic recovery, households are not yet feeling the benefit of the improved economic outlook.
It suggested that the impact of the Under-Occupancy Penalty, combined with changes to Council Tax support, has contributed heavily to rent arrears problems
Instances of Citizens Advice Bureaux advising clients about Discretionary Housing Payments, to help people pay their rent, have more than doubled in the six months since April this year when the charge for under-occupancy was introduced.