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Assessing the evidence on rent control from an international perspective

The Residential Landlords Association commissioned an independent review from Peter Williams and Christine Whitehead, both former directors of CCHPR, in the light of the rapid growth in size of the private rented sector.

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The research for the RLA comprised a literature review -  including CCHPR's recent report 'Using incentives to improve the private rented sector for people in poverty: an international policy review' -  as well as consultations with international experts and a roundtable discussion with invited experts, practitioners and policymakers.

The RLA's summary noted that the research found that there was a broad consensus over a number of issues:

  1. Rogue/criminal landlords give mainstream landlords a bad name. There should, therefore, be stronger enforcement by local authorities.
  2. Many landlords would be happy to offer longer-term security, as long as enforcement procedures are working properly,
  3. Landlords remain concerned about indefinite security especially if clear-cut exemptions are not in place. They see the way forward more about enabling a range of tenancy models which landlords can choose to provide.
  4. There are other pressures building up, including short-term lettings; the lack of housing for poorer households; cutbacks in housing benefits; and changes in the welfare system more generally; and increases in property taxation which impacts on a sustainable PRS.
  5. More evidence both on what is wanted and what has been the impact of regulatory change is needed,
  6. The sector needs to be responsive to the changing political mood with the objective of developing a modern private rented sector which meets the diversity of demand by a wider range of provision.

The report concluded that the PRS is a crucial part of the solution to UK housing problems and this requires a more positive stance towards the sector. The focus for reform should be on putting in place a system which allows longer term tenancies (for those that want/desire them), alongside a much better enforcement system which tackles both poor tenants and landlords.

To download a copy of the report, visit the RLA's research pages.


 

Authors

Peter Williams

Christine Whitehead

Publication Date

October 2018