Manchester rent controls would ‘damage supply of housing’

A recent report called for a new devolution deal for Greater Manchester, with measures including “rent pressure zones”.

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As reported by 24housing, a joint-report called for Manchester’s leaders to be given powers to cap private rents in expensive areas after house prices quadrupled in 20 years.

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

However, the Residential Landlord Association have urged the introduction of said 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.

In reports, the RLA stated that all the evidence available shows that rent controls lead to a reduction in the supply of homes available for rent restricting choice for tenants, lower quality housing and has led in some places to 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.”

John Stewart, Policy Manager for the RLA, 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.”

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