Rent Control Argument Rages On

Rent Control Argument Rages On

Most Tenants Would Support Rent Controls

The majority of tenants renting property in the UK’s private rented sector (PRS) would support the introduction of rent controls if they were introduced according to data gathered by a Manchester based letting agent.

The research was conducted by Geo Property Lettings through a number of industry related websites and social media profiles over a 3 month period. The survey discovered that 77% of tenants in the UK private rented sector would support the introduction of rent controls should the Government decide to implement such a scheme. Only 5% of tenants were opposed to the introduction of rent control whilst 18% of tenants expressed no opinion either way.The results may make a compelling argument for the current Conservative Government to look at the proposals that were made by opposition leaders before the General Election back in May 2015, however the research also found that the number of landlords who would be in favour of rent controls was just 13%.

Rachel Clarke, Managing Director of Geo Property Lettings commented on the survey’s findings, stating:”Working private rental sector tenants spend more than 40% of their earned income on rent so it is easy to understand that they would support the introduction of rent control measures, however such regulations are impractical and unworkable for most landlords as they operate their rental property business for profit, not fun. The introduction of such draconian measures would set the industry back by more than 40 years and force many good landlords out of business.

By supporting rent control, politicians may have the intention of being pro-active to have a positive impact to millions of tenants in the private sector, however if rent controls are legislated this would be even more bad news for beleaguered landlords who have seen a great deal of additional legislation introduced in the last 12 months, including becoming unpaid agents for the UK Border Agency.

The Government may argue that the imposition of rent controls would save the taxpayer money, but they fail to mention that it would force many landlords to sell up as the property rental business would no longer be profitable to operate following the abolition of mortgage interest relief and other prohibitive legislation introduced without consultation.

A report by the Institute of Economic Affairs, that was first published in September 2014, warned that the introduction of rent controls would not make the UK PRS more affordable, stating that PRS tenants would actually suffer as a result of the policy. The IEA claimed that the introduction of rent controls would lead to a sharp rise in rents and would also reduce the number of rental properties available in the UK market.

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