Recently, there has been an increase in calls for rent controls in the private rental sector (PRS).
However, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have analysed the Government’s English Housing Survey, and found that in real terms, private sector rents are dropping.
Average private sector rents rose by £10, from £153 to £163 per week, an increase of 6.5%.1
At the same time, average social sector rents increased by £18, from £71 to £89 a week, a rise of 25.4%.1
During this period, the Retail Prices Index (RPI) was measured at 16.2%, and the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was 16.7%.1
Between 2011-12 and 2012-13, average weekly rents in the private sector dropped by 0.6%, from £164 to £163.1
In the same timeframe, social sector rents saw a rise of 7.2%, from £83 to £89 per week.1
The Labour Government in February 2010 published a consultation on Investment in Private Rented Housing. It highlighted the risks of rent controls: “A key factor behind the decline in the PRS was the introduction of rent controls during the First World War, and these became more extensive over time. Artificially low rents reduced investment in the sector, contributing to lower maintenance standards in the stock that remained.”1