The government’s rental reforms White Paper has ruled out introducing rent controls, amidst fears that they could be introduced to the housing market in England.
The White Paper, ‘A Fairer Private Rented Sector’ confirms the policy.
It said: “This Government does not support the introduction of rent controls to set the level of rent at the outset of a tenancy.
“Historical evidence suggests that this would discourage investment in the sector and would lead to declining property standards as a result, which would not help landlords or tenants.”
The housing minister Eddie Hughes then reiterated this point in the House of Commons.
He said: “I have to be blunt and say, ‘Under no circumstances’ – that is simply not a Conservative policy and it is not something we are going to pursue.”
Rather than rent controls the White paper proposed that landlords can only be increased once per year.
Meanwhile tenants can challenge landlords through a First-tier Tribunal if they deem a rental increase to be unreasonable.
Rent review clauses will come to an end, meaning landlords cannot pre-determine future rent increases.
These changes are motivated by government fears that some landlords will effectively evict tenants by increasing rents by an unfair amount.
Rent controls are active in Scotland, as landlords cannot increase rent in any year by more than the Consumer Price Index plus 1%.