Regulation and Enforcement

Manchester rent controls would choke off supply of homes

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Introducing rent controls in Manchester would choke of the supply of homes to rent making it more difficult of tenants to find a place to live.

That is the warning from the Sale-based RLA as a new report calls for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to have powers to implement forms of rent control.

The report published jointly today by The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and One Manchester argues that the government should grant powers for the Combined Authority to establish rent pressure zones to control high rents.

All the evidence available shows rent controls lead to a reduction in the supply of homes available for rent, restricting choice for tenants, lower quality housing and, in some circumstances, an increase in homelessness. 

In London, where a similar proposal is being made by the Mayor of London, the Centre for Cities has warned that strict rent controls would divide the city’s renters into “winners and losers.” 

A recent article on rent controls in San Francisco in ‘The Times’ warned that they have made the problem of homelessness worse, “because they discourage people from letting out property and thus reduce supply, pushing house prices up further.”

David Smith, RLA policy director said: “Rent controls are on the face of it an attractive but simplistic and populist approach to the increased cost of housing.

“In reality they make the situation for tenants worse.

“All the evidence from around the world where they have been introduced shows that they reduce supply and drive up the cost of housing. 

“Having controls on rent is not much help to a person who cannot find somewhere to live because of the cut in the number of properties available. 

“Instead, the Mayor of Greater Manchester needs to work with the private rented sector on how to boost the supply of homes for rent to meet ever growing demand.” 

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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