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Rent controls hurt future tenants after helping current ones - claim

A right wing think tank has published a blog post suggesting that while rent controls appear a popular help for current tenants, they do substantial harm to future ones - as well as to landlords and the quality and volume of rental stock.

The blog by Gary M Galles says that the debate surrounding rent controls looks mostly at how they will affect ‘tenants’ without differentiating between existing and future tenants.

Galles writes: “It would provide a massive windfall for current tenants at the expense of landlords, forcing or keeping rents far below market value, with tenancy protections guaranteeing the windfall into the future … But it would harm the far larger group of people who seek rental housing after rent control is imposed. The slowed growth or shrinkage in the quantity and quality of the housing stock over time that results will increasingly lead to ‘no vacancy’ signs rather than available or affordable units.”


The article - written originally for a US journal - cites something called the Bronowski Test, a scientific theory produced by Polish-British mathematician Jacob Brownowski, who analysed impacts of policy on existing and future users.

The blog continues: “Rental housing subsidies similarly violate the Bronowski test. Funding is never sufficient to aid all those eligible for subsidies. Those who do receive aid benefit. 

“But the subsidies also increase the market demand in that sector of the rental market, which increases the market rents all others must pay. Again, looking only at the lucky disguises harm to the unlucky from the same group.”

You can see the whole blog here.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • George Dawes

    Like politicians rent controls don't work

  • icon

    Like politicians rent controls are bad for tenants (even though they think they are good!)

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Try and control the price of anything, and you'll find it in shorter supply.


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