More than a third of private landlords might opt to sell their properties if rent controls were implemented locally, a recent survey conducted by YouGov for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) reveals. The data indicates that 37 percent of landlords would consider reducing the properties they offer for rent if an external authority, such as a council, gained the power to regulate rents, both within tenancies and during gaps between them.
The NRLA warns that this potential mass departure of landlords could significantly disrupt the availability of rental homes, especially during a period of growing demand.The Scottish Parliament has recently confirmed that its emergency rent controls, often referred to as such, will remain in effect for as long as the Scottish National Party and Green alliance continue to govern in Scotland.
Contrarily, the current UK Government has made it clear that it has no intentions of implementing similar measures. Previously, Labour’s shadow housing secretary dismissed the idea of rent controls, although Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London, has been an outspoken advocate for their introduction in the capital.
In Wales, the Labour Welsh Government has recently released a Green Paper advocating for the exploration of some form of rent controls. The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) notes that landlords’ responses vary somewhat depending on the specific types of controls proposed.
These categories can be broadly categorized into three groups:
- First-generation rent controls: These represent a ‘hard’ form of control where rents are established and then remain unaltered.
- Second-generation rent controls: In this category, rent increases are restricted to a predetermined percentage or linked to inflation.
- Third-generation rent controls: These controls permit landlords to freely set initial rents, such as those for new tenancies, with minimal restrictions. However, they impose limits on rent increases within ongoing tenancies.
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