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Rent Controls would force a third of landlords to quit Buy To Let

Over a third of private landlords would sell properties if rent controls were introduced in their area, according to a trade survey.

The data, from polling firm YouGov for the National Residential Landlords Association,  shows 37 per cent would reduce the number of properties they let if an external agency like a council was given authority to set rents both during and between tenancies.

The NRLA says that such an exodus of landlords could have “a devastating impact on the supply of homes to let at a time of ever-increasing demand.”


The Scottish Parliament has recently announced that it’s so-called emergency rent controls are in fact here to stay as long as the Scottish National Party and Green alliance stay in power north of the border.

The current UK Government has been clear that it has no plans to introduce such measures and Labour’s previous shadow housing secretary dismissed rent controls - although the party’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan have been vocal in his calls for controls to be introduced in the capital.

The Labour Welsh Government has recently published a Green Paper calling for some form of rent controls to be “explored”.

The NRLA says landlords’ plans tended to differ slightly depending on the types of controls proposed. 

These are broadly split into three categories: 

- First generation rent controls – a 'hard' control in which rents are fixed and remain frozen;

- Second generation rent controls – rent increases are limited to a set percentage or pegged to inflation; or 

- Third generation rent controls – these allow initial rents (such as new tenancies) to be freely set by landlords or with a very light restriction but limit rent increases within tenancies.

A statement from the NRLA, following the results of its survey, says that rent controls typically lead to a reduction in supply, fewer incentives for landlords to invest in property upgrades, and tenants staying longer and locking out younger renters.

The NRLA has long warned that they controlling or freezing rents could actually make the problem worse, with landlords - no longer able to make their business models stack up - more likely to leave the sector.

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  • George Dawes

    Being in the public sector these politicians have no idea of how the real world works

    Nigel Spalding

    Which is why the State needs to shrunk - not expanded


    Correction... They know exactly what they are doing but just dont care.

    They are after the cheap easy votes without the hard patriotic work of leadership and good management

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    At the moment the amount of interest perhaps the majority of landlords would receive from a savings account would exceed the amount of rent that they receive now. This is a factor some are taking into account in deciding to sell. My rental return is about half that I would receive from a savings account.

    Obviously if rents are forced down, then landlords will sell if possible. Unless that is the aim, then it is not a good idea.

    Of course, rental return is not the only factor in this business. The ability to control the property you own is the number one priority. Loss of control means that you do not, in effect, own it anymore. That is why the RENTERS REFORM LEGISLATION and specifically the loss of no fault termination of tenancies, coupled with the existing rental return is pushing landlords out.

    Tax is another point. Some landlords do not even make a profit due to the existence of Section 24.

    Of course, not all landlords have mortgages and are therefore affected by Section 24, but many who don't have mortgages are subject to unfair taxation because they can't claim for their own work. They may be doing a full-time job responding to tenants and carrying out small repairs for them. This work is regarded as of no value, but it may be very onerous for the landlord. I have one set of tenants who regard me as a handywoman - can you put up another bathroom cabinet etc? Some seem to want a great deal of service for their rent even if the rent is half market value. Other tenants cause mould through their lifestyle and expect immediate remedy from the landlord- they see themselves as victims and the landlord as a rogue!

    Personally, I do carry out all repairs irrespective of the cause, but I can see the NEW OMBUDSMAN SCHEME giving tenants compensation, too, for the damage that they have caused. The potential injustice of such a scheme is another reason to leave.

    EPC changes are another consideration. Who is going to invest huge sums of money in getting their property to EPC C when the business has ceased to be a business at all?


    A couple of weeks ago, I had a 3am message, her shower was blocked! I replied at 7.30, to find out her shower trap was blocked!! She was demanding a "man" come immediately to put it right. I told her I'm.nit responsible for their long hair and gunk down the trap, they are, but I could send a plumber but they'd have to pay the bill. She said please don't send a plumber, she got her son to do it in the end ....!


    I have had similar experiences of being contacted very late at night with a non-emergency repair. It keeps me awake half the night.

    Very unfair, Jane, that you were being asked to remedy something that they had caused. You handled the situation very well, but if there were an Ombudsman Scheme unfair tenants could contact them and cause a lot of worry and misery for the landlords.

    Incidentally, I have plumbing and drains insurance with British Gas and that is used regularly as tenants frequently block drains etc.

  • John  Adams

    It sounds wonderful if you are a tenant, what in reality it means is the choice of property lessens as larger properties become unprofitable and the general availability makes moving home for a new job or to be near family a challenge.

    At the moment many properties purchased today will give a rental income lower than inflation after taking into account ones costs, Capital Appreciation coupled with CGT changes and Environmental costs also mean that the overall return is less attractive and so do I stick my money into ETFs and to hell with the grief becomes a real consideration for many.


    ETFS would worry me a bit. I don't know much about them, but the fact that they are traded on stock exchanges must entail a risk.

    The average return on them sounds great though - double the 6.2% return you could get from National Savings and Investments!


    Yes, we have arrived at that stage too. Hell mend them. They can clean up their own housing mess!

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    So 33% drop due to rent control, another 33% due to S24, and a final 33% for EPC C 😂😂😂 So what’s left 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

  • icon

    I'm north of the border where rent controls are in place and I'm getting out but it's not just rent controls which have helped me make my decision. It's all the other crap we're forced to swallow. I've had enough!

    Fery  Lavassani

    Same will happen in the South of the border soon. Abolishing Section 21 together with introducing open ended tenancies, will take us back to Rent Act 1977 protected tenancies commonly known as sitting tenants. If this RRB is fully implemented, we will lose the control of our assets. So I have decided to get out once and for all.


    Yes, I’m up here too. Had enough. They’re all going! We’ll just leave them to sort out their own self made mess!

  • icon

    Rent controls would definitely cause me to sell all my Properties and I only have small mortgages on 2 of them, I pity those who are heavily geared.

  • icon

    I’m already selling or switching my properties to other models as tenants leave, because of S24 and other legislation and so are many other landlords, especially since internet rates have gone up. Too much focus on rent controls just diverts thinking away from the issues we are struggling with now as if that would be the last straw … the last straw is long gone! If the NRA could please demonstrate how returns are already decimated the thought of rent controls on top would be understood as a bad idea. The NRLA’s strategy and PR is and always has been hopeless!

  • Richard LeFrak

    Slightly different perspective across here in the Middle East and UAE specifically. There is a regulated body that controls rent and it can be upped by no more than 10% per year, obviously everybody's rent goes up 10% a year unless you get a good landlord. It is all very hands off but the government oversee it and if there is a problem or complaint it is resolved within a couple of days. All letting agents have to be regulated and cannot advertise properties without being regulated.

    If you kick a tenant out for family reasons or selling then that is fine, however if you kick them out and then rent it for a higher market value then if the original tenant finds out you will have to pay two months rent as compensation.

    Overall the rental system is very streamlined and a light touch regulation, if there is problems they are dealt with in double quick time, unlike the UK.

    10% a year is a nice touch if you can get it, my landlord has done it over the last two years so took the opportunity to say adios and buy somewhere.


    10% rent increase a year Peter is a lot! Landlords like you and I have been not raising our rents for years. The UAE system might sound to be tenant-friendly, but not really.

    You did the right thing to leave your rented flat.

    Richard LeFrak

    You are right Ellie, the difference here is that it is very transparent and everybody knows what will happen. The other difference is when it crashes here so does the rent, so landlords gain on one hand and lose with another, the landlords are forced to buy the properties as there is no interest only mortgages. So I guess exposure to risk is mitigated by reducing mortgage balances.

    The UK with landlords that don't raise rent like you and I are a gift to the tenants and government by keeping people in secure accommodation for very little money, with the rent reform bill I have switched into this mode now and putting raises in yearly to combat the further raising of costs.

  • Franklin I

    Seems like they want to set these rent controls to be in line with the LHA's in all borough's, to make Universal Credit more widely available for all tenant's.
    The BTL mortgage lenders will be telling LL's, that we can't give you a mortgage, as your rental income is too low.
    LL's are already quitting BTL.


    We can't and won't operate at LHA rates


    Landlords will switch to serviced flats. In Norwich a 2 bedroom serviced flat starts at about £100 a night.

    In London where I am, the LHA rates for a two bedroom flat are actually £200 a month MORE than I am charging! I just looked up the LHA rate. My tenants are professional people in top jobs, too - doctors, architects etc.


    Sounds to me like the councils/government want control of the private rental sector without the responsibility. Vote conservative get socialism

  • icon

    I sold a house this year but got stung with CGT having owned the house for 17 years. I bought 2 new btl but in limited company. Gradually as they come out of 5 year fixed I'll sell each one to ltd company but only 1 a year as CGT crippling.

  • icon

    The greatest collapse in homelessness is on us, through Socialist policies and thinking....
    The kind compassionate mindset of 40 year old dependant children....
    Had created a collapsing society riddled with someone else's problem and a demand for more money....
    The socialist don't wish to contribute, that would make there lives worse, so take the money from capital and the capable that pay the vast majority of the taxes....
    Socialism makes you Poorer, because without the 10%, your taxes have doubled....
    Your on your own in a collapsing Socialist society

  • icon

    Unfortunately, the management in my 2 bedroom flat will not allow me to rent as service apartments. It has to be an AST of at least 6 months, so what would happen when the RRB comes into effect and tenants leave after 2 months stay?

  • Matthew Payne

    A much smaller third than a month or two ago. I know so many LLs now who dont even care about the CGT bill and are just selling the whole lot in one go.


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