Government ‘does not support’ rent controls

Introduction of statutory rent controls is not an option supported by the Government, housing minister Eddie Hughes as told the Commons.

‘Historical evidence suggests that rent controls would discourage investment in the sector and would lead to declining property standards’, the minister said in a written answer.

He was replying to a questions from Labour MP Rachael Maskell who had asked if he would make an assessment of the potential merits of rent controls in high cost areas.

Such a move would help neither tenants or landlords, said Hughes. Recent international examples suggested that rent controls could have an inadvertent negative impact on the supply of housing and could encourage illegal subletting, he said.

‘In the Queen’s Speech 2022, we committed to introducing a Renters Reform Bill in this parliamentary session. Through this, we will abolish ‘no fault’ evictions by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, providing security for tenants in the private rented sector and empowering them to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of retaliatory eviction.

‘It is important to note that currently if tenants with periodic tenancies believe the level of rent increase is unfair, they can already refer the matter to the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for independent adjudication. The Tribunal will consider whether the rent increase is in line with market rent’.