Assessing the evidence on Rent Control from an International Perspective

October 2018

Assessing the evidence on Rent Control from an International Perspective

The issue of rent control is both controversial and highly topical in the UK. Equally, it is much misunderstood. With growing tensions around the rise of “Generation Rent” and restricted access to home ownership, the politics of housing have now intensified. All major political parties are sensitive to the cost and terms of renting in the private sector - as an alternative to home ownership and as a precursor to joining that tenure as well as an alternative to social housing. In Scotland and some European countries as well as in North America new regulations are already being put in place to strengthen controls. On the other hand there are new types of landlord looking for different regulatory frameworks which might stabilise rent increases and reduce turnover.

The RLA highlighted these developing debates and commissioned this report to help support its own independent contribution as a leading landlord organisation. After setting out some principles behind rent regulation this short study was focussed on the following:

1) A review of the different approaches of rent controls;
2) An assessment of the current body of academic and other relevant literature;
3) A comparison of international examples of rent controls using secondary data; 
4) Policy suggestions for the private rented sector in England and Wales.

Research impact:

Briefing Paper - Private rented housing: the rent control debate
House of Commons Library, February 2019

The House of Commons library has published a providing an overview of the debate around rent controls, quoting Whitehead and Williams' research for the RLA, specifically with regard to the impact of rent controls. 

Client: Residential Landlords Association

Authors: Christine Whitehead
& Peter Williams

Download report