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Drawing the line between rent control and rent stabilisation

November 25, 2019

With a mission to offer greater transparency and a simpler way of doing things when it comes to renting, we’re shining the light on another term that we feel is getting lost in translation for renters:

Rent control.

What does it mean, and would it actually provide a fairer deal for renters?

Controlling private rents is not a new concept. It’s been adopted by various governments and cities across the world in an attempt to give stability for renters.

In the most dramatic cases this has involved completely dictating the rent whereby landlords can only charge up to a certain amount based on a property’s size or its number of bedrooms.

The risks if this approach is that it discourages landlords to invest in the quality of their accommodation, or, by making it challenging to make an income, forcing them to sell (or not build in the first place) and reducing the number of homes available for renters.

And, as we’re constantly being told, we need more homes not fewer.

However, what has historically been discussed in the UK as rent control follows a rent stabilisation model that the build-to-rent sector has already got behind.

Rent stabilisation allows the initial rent to be set by the market with increases during the tenancy agreement set in-line with a more general index, such as the Consumer Price Index.

This is the model that Get Living was founded on.

From the outset we wanted to offer transparency over tenancies, with no fees and a three-year agreement with a resident-only break. After three years, the rent goes back to market rate and then continues to follow CPI.

We did this because we know that people want certainty when it comes to having a roof over their head and managing their monthly outgoings. It gives them the stability and the confidence to put down roots, which allows our neighbourhoods and communities to thrive.

Rent stabilisation does work for build-to-rent, but as we represent a small portion of all rental homes available in the UK, government does need to tread carefully around introducing this for all landlords so it doesn’t impact housing delivery.

What renters need is a healthy market offering a choice of quality homes, managed by professional landlords, safe in the knowledge they can live there for as long as they wish. You shouldn’t need to own to feel at home.

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