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Rent control may harm, not help, tenants

Mandatory limits on housing rents might seem like the obvious solution to rising prices, but other approaches can do more to protect both landlords and tenants, says Lisa Evans

27 October 2015

The UK’s private rented sector (PRS) has more than doubled in size in the last 15 years and looks set to keep expanding. The sector accounts for around four million households – some
17 per cent of the total number of households in the UK.

Ensuring this group is adequately protected and has access to reasonably priced accommodation in appropriate locations, while protecting landlords and their rights, is a key and complex challenge facing the UK’s urban hubs.

‘Generation rent’ has had to contend with the clampdown
in mortgage lending after the financial crisis, which forced many would-be homebuyers into the rental market. This growth in the PRS was boosted by a combination of other factors, including the scrapping of rent controls, rising house prices in relation to earnings, and the proliferation of buy-to-let mortgages. In a classic exam...

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