Rent controls set to be introduced in two cities – a ‘step in right direction’ says politician

Rent controls look set to be reintroduced in the UK

There is a proposal to bring in city-wide rent controls in Glasgow, while Edinburgh is likely to follow suit.

In April the Scottish government announced that legislation would give councils powers to create rent controls in ‘rent pressure zones’.

That power comes into effect in December and Glasgow SNP councillor Ruari Kelly has already put forward a motion to examine the feasibility of bringing in rent controls across the city.

It would mean rents would be capped for up to five years at the consumer price index plus 1%.

Cllr Kelly said the cost of private rents had risen 24% in five years, with the average rent in Glasgow now £755 per month.

Kelly said: “Rent pressure zones will give those in the private rental sector security in the knowledge that they will not have large increases in their rent sprung on them, while the city gets on with the task of building the affordable housing Glasgow needs.

“While this will not be the answer to all of the housing issues we face, it is a step in the right direction.”

Edinburgh City Council has confirmed it intends using the new power.

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  1. smile please

    Devils advocates

    You let a property with a 75% LTV in Glasgow.

    You have to obide by the rent control.

    You have a 3 year fixed rate of 3.5%

    In those 3 years things change within UK

    Interest rates rise and the are now only able to get a rate of 6%

    However they are not able to pass the cost on …

    Sounds like madness to me.

    1. mat109

      Remind me, did rents fall when interests rates went down? NO!

      Rents are set by the market, not by landlord’s costs. I realise this is now a market restriction as well which might have implications on supply, but so many landlords are in it for the capital gain these days it might have little effect.

      1. smile please

        Yes Mat109

        You are right rents are set by the market which is fair and correct, applying a rent control does away with that!



  2. waco79

    Well well well….

    you couldn’t make it up.

    Banning agents charging fees to tenants won’t cause rents to rise, well no more than 24% in five years.

    Are you watching Mrs May?

    1. Ryan Baker

      Exactly…24% rent increase and the Gov said it had no effects on the rent increase in Scotland after the fee ban….what stops the landlord asking for 1.5 months in first month and then the normal 1 month rent in the remainder term? It’s rent not fees. Tenants are desperate to pay for a decent property due to increase house prices and shortage of good housing. This ban is a step in the wrong direction. Capping rents would have been the better alternative and agents displaying proper fees was the better alternative

  3. RosBeck73

    Rent controls never work in the way they are intended. The councils are introducing them with no knowledge of how they have worked when tried elsewhere. Usual idiotic policies by politicians, interfering with and damaging a market they don’t understand.

  4. LandlordsandLetting

    So, a landlord has a flat that the open market would price at say £1200 pcm, but the rent is controlled down to £900 pcm. The landlord is inundated with tenants wanting the flat at £900 pcm – how to chose? Maybe he or she will chose the best looking? Or maybe the landlord could organise a race around the block to ensure only the fittest applicants get the flat? What about a lottery – just draw names out of a hat? Best to ask those SNP politicians, I guess.

  5. Will

    One only needs to look back at the 1977 Rent Act and and the effects it had. Known by those old enough to remember first hand. Particularly the impact of rent control.

    Like all these so called bright ideas it will be the thin end of the wedge and landlords in these areas should get out whilst they can. Let via short term lets, holiday lets, consider investing in other countries where there is less interference rather than the bullying of out of control councils.  Let the councils solve their own problems with their own money – not landlords money!

  6. Peter

    Ironic! Everything the Government are doing is creating a letting market that will contract and inevitably lead to rent increase; no wonder they are looking at rent controls.

    “Rent controls look set to be reintroduced in the UK”

    Suggest politicians need a history lesson as to why the Housing Act 1988 was introduced and do an internet search; they will discover phrases such as “revive the private rented sector”, “make more housing available”, “created a system where more landlords are prepared to enter the market in the first place”.

    Lest we forget.



  7. MrSerious

    Stupid, stupid, STUPID idea.  Don’t do it!

    The 1974 Rent Act that set regulated rents caused an economic disaster with huge drop in supply of privately rented properties from c.3.7 million to 2.4 million by 1980.  Many were bought by (vulture) Councils to boost the public supply, BUT they had no money in the revenue account to repair and so they mostly fell into disrepair.

    Mad.  But the irony is, that it was fully intended – by the then Labour Party.  They wanted to destroy the private rented sector and ‘steal’ properties.

    Even Hilary Benn, Labour recently said (paraphrased):  “Rent controls would be a mistake, as in the 1970s landlords fled the market.  We don’t want to return to that.”

    The ‘teenage’ Scottish politicians reckon they know it all.  Well let me tell you…they don’t.

    PLEASE – educate yourselves properly, and listen and learn from your Elders.

  8. JohnGell

    Anyone remember the last time rents were controlled?  It took a new Housing Act to restore availabilty of housing.



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