LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Landlords will leave market if rent controls introduced

Landlords will leave market if rent controls introduced

Three out of five landlords would leave, or consider leaving, the private rented market if rent controls were introduced.

New figures also reveal that the majority of landlords plan to freeze their rents in 2015.

The findings come after Residential Landlords Association (RLA) chairman, Alan Ward, warned that proposals for rent controls will leave tenants worse off.

According to the results of a survey of more than 1,000 RLA members, more than 75% of landlords either froze or cut their rents in 2014. In the current year, over 65% intend to do so again.

Speaking ahead of a debate on rent controls yesterday, Alan Ward said: “These results blow a hole through the myth that rent controls would be good for tenants.

“At a time when tenants need more choice over where they live, state-controlled rents would choke off supply, increase rents and reduce quality. It would be history repeating itself.”

Ward pointed to official figures showing that in the social rented sector, rent controls have seen rents massively outstrip inflation.

Data in the most recent English Housing Survey show that between 2008/09 and 2012/13 social sector rents increased by over 25%. In comparison, private sector rents increased over the same period by 6.5%. Inflation as measured by both CPI and RPI over this period was around 16%. 

“The reality is that rent controls would leave many tenants paying more than they do at the moment,” said Ward, “Rather than coming up with ideologically-driven ideas, proponents of rent controls need to address the root issues, namely the need to boost the supply of homes to rent.”