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RLA hits back at calls for rent controls

The Residential Landlords Association has hit back at those pressure groups and politicians advocating rent controls by claiming that analysis of the official English Housing Survey reveals that private sector rents are actually falling in real terms.Latest results from the EHS – a continuous survey conducted by the Department of Communities and Local Government – show that average private sector rents increased by £10 from £153 to £163 a week, representing a rise of 6.5 per cent.

Over the same period average weekly rents in the social sector increased by £18 from £71 to £89. This is an increase of 25.4 per cent.

And again over this period, inflation as measured by RPI was 16.2 per cent, and as represented by the alternative CPI measurement inflation was 16.7 per cent.

Between 2011/12 and 2012/13, average weekly rents in the private rented sector fell from £164 to £163, a fall of 0.6 per cent. In the same period, social sector rents increased from £83 a week to £89 a week, and increase of 7.2 per cent.

Pointedly, the RLA says that in 2010 the then Labour Government published a consultation document on Investment in Private Rented Housing.

This outlined the dangers that rent controls pose and included this statement: “A key factor behind the decline in the PRS was the introduction of rent controls during the First World War, and these became more extensive over time. Artificially low rents reduced investment in the sector, contributing to…lower maintenance standards in the stock that remained.”

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