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Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research


The objective of this research was to examine the extent to which different regulatory frameworks across Europe have generated different incentives to provide private rental housing, to live in private rental housing, and to fund that housing.

The aim of the research was to gain a better understanding of the determinants of the scale and use of private rented sectors across Northern Europe, and particularly the role of regulation both historically since 1980 and in the future. Detailed elements of the work included:

  • what is understood by a liberal market for private rented accommodation and how can this be operationalised through a ranking enabling comparison between countries;
  • an overview of the history of rent regulation and liberalisation in various countries;
  • international benchmarking of the degree of liberalisation;
  • an analysis of the consequences of liberalisation and how this has affected consumers, social outcomes and other sectors of the housing market.

The private rented sector in the new century – a comparative approach

This study examines the role of regulation in the private rented sector across 11 European countries. A key finding is that well-conceived and well-managed regulation can enhance the private rented sector for both tenants and landlords.

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Project Start Date

1st December 2010