Housing minister confirms rent controls will not be introduced in England



Eddie Hughes
Eddie Hughes

Buy-to-let landlords have welcomed a commitment from housing minister Eddie Hughes that the UK government is not considering rent controls in England.

In a written reply to a question from Labour MP Rachael Maskell, the minister agreed with Propertymark’s position that there was enough evidence available to show they would discourage investment in the private rented sector and lead to declining property standards.

Read the question and the Minister’s answer in full by clicking here.

The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are pursuing their own provisions for rent controls.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “Only last month we urged the minister to study closely his department’s own statistics that show tenants are 40 times more likely to be made homeless because their landlord has become so disillusioned with the tax and legislative burden and wants to sell their property, than because they can’t afford the rent.

“His decision to publicly rule out rent controls in England suggests that he has taken our advice.

“The policy of rent controls may be popular among those looking for a short-term solution to rising market rents amid the cost-of-living crisis, but they will not solve the root cause of the problem, which is an undersupply of homes across all tenures.

“In a free market, where rents are allowed to flex in line with demand, investment in the private rented sector is incentivised. This provides a far more effective solution to the issue of affordability and encourages the long-term supply of good quality housing.”

 

Comments 6

  1. Why should we believe this given the Governments tendency to back track on their promises? When the Government says they are not considering it, of course they will be. They are just working out how to do it without using the words “Rent Control” somewhat akin to Rishi Sunak avoiding the use of the term “windfall tax” by referring to it as a “temporary, targeted energy profits levy”. We are a low wage unskilled economy due to deliberate Government policy. Harder times are coming. With rising inflation, wage stagnation and a full on recession looming, we can expect that rent arrears and evictions will rise as things start to bite especially when winter comes. The Government has nowhere for evicted tenants to go, their only hope is to keep tenants in place to avoid a real crisis. They could just ban evictions with no compensation for landlords, a bit harsh maybe, but they have form, they did it during the pandemic and due to the vilification of landlords the sympathy for us was pretty underwhelming. Maybe there could be a scheme where landlords could claim back an amount equal to LHA. LHA is the Governments idea of what rent should be after all. The Government could deduct the LHA amount from a tenants benefits and leave themselves cost neutral. The tenants would be better off as they will not have to top up LHA to market rent. Faced with the prospect of something or nothing beleaguered landlords would have to accept it. The “Landlords Compensatory Allowance” or whatever it could be called would not be referred to as a “Rent Control” even though it would have the same effect. Want to sell up to escape? I am sure that the Government could make this a very unattractive Landlord option with a bit of thought! Let’s see how it all pans out.

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