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Graham Awards


Rent Controls simply not needed, insists agents’ body

Propertymark has reiterated its opposition to rent controls in its latest statement on proposals in Northern Ireland.

The NI Assembly has published independent research into the implications of powers within that nation’s Private Tenancies Act to introduce regulations to implement a rent decrease of up to 10 per cent and/or a rent freeze for up to four years.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, says: “The report’s findings are just what we expected – a failure to provide any evidence that further rent control is required in Northern Ireland.

“Tenants themselves say it is ‘neither easy nor difficult’ to be able to afford their rent and the most up-to-date data on market rents quoted in the report shows affordability is actually improving. It also predicts up to 60 per cent of landlords could exit the private rental market if either a rent decrease or freeze were adopted.

“Our own polling and research shows the biggest reason landlords are giving for selling rental properties is rising costs. This will be exacerbated if their rental income is cut or frozen. We also know that as many as half of the properties sold do not return to the rental market.

“The report acknowledges what we’ve been saying all along, that the best way to maintain affordability is to have enough homes to rent, privately and in the social sector. The new Northern Ireland Assembly must therefore ditch this rent control agenda and focus its efforts on delivering the quota of new housing across all tenures that was promised in the ambitious Housing Supply Strategy.”


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