Housing charity Shelter has said that capping rents could make life harder for tenants and force landlords out of the market.
Earlier in the year Shelter commissioned Cambridge University’s Centre for Housing and Planning Research to look at the impact that different forms of rent regulation would actually have – and it published the results this week.
“In practice, hard rent controls tend to create a two tier system in which some homes are subject to rent caps, while a formal or informal unregulated sector emerges that houses those in most need who do not benefit from the caps,” the report said.
Shelter described the report as the “best available evidence on what might happen if we regulated rents in different ways.”
It said that “hard rent controls” would remove landlords’ financial incentive to invest in their properties, and lead to poorer quality homes.
On the same day the report was published Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb wrote in the Huffington Post: “Though they appear an easy solution, rent caps could actually cause more problems for tenants. The researchers predict that driving down the cost of rents in this way will cause evictions to rise, conditions to get worse, and make it a lot tougher for any one on a low income (especially those on housing benefit) to find somewhere to live.”
The report conclusions angered tenants’ group Hackney Renters which attacked Shelter in a series of Tweets, saying:
- Our housing policy, in Govt & charities, is being written by landlords. Shame on @Shelter for supporting their bias
- @Shelter reject #rentcaps with no study into international comparisons (NYC, Berlin). Ridiculous.
- @Shelter say #rentcaps don't work. Based off the views of landlords. How shocking.
- Saddened @Shelter have based their views on biased motives of landlords & letting agents rather than reality