The British government does not plan to control rents in England


Propertymark has welcomed UK Housing Minister Eddie Hughes’ pledge that the UK government is not considering controlling rents in England.

In a written response to a question from Labor MP Rachael Maskell, Hughes said there was enough evidence available to show they would discourage investment in the private rental sector and lead to lower property standards.

Hughes comments: “Historical evidence suggests that rent control would discourage investment in the area and lead to lower housing standards, which would help neither landlords nor tenants.”

“Recent international examples also suggest that rent controls can have an unintended negative impact on housing supply and may encourage more illegal subletting.”

Last month, the queen’s speech laid out plans for a ‘Tenant Reform Bill’ which the Government says is designed to provide a better deal for the 4.4 million households in the private rental sector in England.

Hughes explains: “With this we will abolish ‘no-fault’ evictions by removing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, ensuring the safety of tenants in the private rental sector and allowing them to challenge bad unfair practices and rent increases without fear of retaliatory eviction. .”

“It is important to note that currently, if tenants with periodic tenancies feel that the level of rent increase is unfair, they can already approach the Property Chamber of the First Level Tribunal for an independent decision. The Tribunal will consider if the rent increase is in line with the market rent,” he adds.

Meanwhile, the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are pursuing their own rent control arrangements.

Propertymark’s head of policy and campaigns, Timothy Douglas, said: ‘Just last month we urged the minister to look closely at his department’s own statistics* which show tenants are 40 times more likely to find themselves homeless because their landlord has become so disillusioned with the tax and legislative burden and wants to sell his property, than because he cannot afford to pay the rent.

“His decision to publicly rule out rent control in England suggests he took our advice.”

“Rent control policy may be popular among those looking for a short-term solution to rising market rents amid the cost of living crisis, but it will not solve the root cause of the problem, which is an insufficient supply of housing across all mandates. »

“In a free market, where rents are allowed to fall in line with demand, investment in the private rental sector is encouraged. This provides a much more effective solution to the affordability problem and encourages the long-term supply of good quality housing,” adds Douglas.

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