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Market statistics say no for rental control

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The British Property Federation (BPF) has argued that new statistics demonstrate the fact that there is no need for rent controls to be imposed by the government.

Official data reveals that market rents nationally are growing more slowly than social rents - as well as expanding below the rate of inflation.

Written evidence was supplied to the Communities and Local Government Committee by the BPF, in which the property institution called for an end to all talk of rent controls.

It was suggested that if such measures were to be introduced, then it would only harm investment in the private rented sector - and discourage people from making foreign money transfers and purchasing property.

Indeed, this comes at a time when the national economy might benefit from the construction of more homes, rather than fewer being needed.

Director of real estate policy at the BPF Ian Fletcher said that debate on the private rented sector is too strongly dominated by case study, narrow evidence and prejudice.

He argued that the full picture needs to be analysed much more carefully, as if this is not the case then there is a danger that poor policy making will follow.

"Policies that hurt investment in the private rented sector will not help people needing a home and just exacerbate the nation's housing crisis," Mr Fletcher commented, adding: "We hope the Select Committee will remember that rents reflect local housing markets and come out strongly in rejecting rent controls."

The expert went on to note that official statistics indicate there is no scandal on rents in the UK, going so far as to suggest that they have nationally undershot the retail prices index rate of inflation for the past 12 months.

"This compares with inflation in many other sectors that has been rampant," he remarked.

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