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No rent controls in England - government confirmation

Rent controls as currently in force in Scotland and under consideration in Wales will not be put into effect in England, the government has made clear.

In a letter from Housing Secretary Michael Gove to the all-party Select Committee on Housing, Gove rejects a call for Valuation Office Agency data to be made public so some form of assessment could be made as to what constitutes “a justified rent increase.”

He says: “Rents in the private rented sector should be agreed between landlords and tenants, and it is not for government to intervene in this. We are clear that landlords must be able to raise rents in line with market prices, but that rent increases which are significantly above this should not be used as a means of backdoor eviction.


“Where there are disputes between a landlord and tenant, the First-Tier Tribunal is best placed to resolve these and to determine the market rent. Making a balanced judgement on what the market rent is means a number of different factors need to be taken into account, such as quality of fixings or proximity to amenities. 

“The Tribunal has experts who can assess the true market value of a property, and it is for those individuals to determine which evidence is relevant. We will update guidance to support all parties in engaging with the Tribunal.”

The Select Committee - which does not make policy but consists of MPs from across the Commons who scrutinise government policy - also calls for the government to “stipulate by how much rents will increase” and to initiative mandatory break periods during which tenants could appeal to the First-tier Property Tribunal if they think their rent has risen above local market rents.

Again Gove rejects this approach , saying it is right to abolish rent review clauses, and says: “The government wants to avoid very large rent increases being used as a backdoor to eviction, while ensuring that landlords can increase rents to market prices.

“In the new system [under the Renters Reform legislation, if it becomes law] landlords, as they can now, will be able to increase rents once a year at the rate they deem appropriate. It is only if a tenant thinks this is above market levels that they can challenge this at the First-tier Tribunal. When this happens, an independent expert panel will assess the market price for the property. This could be higher, lower or in line with what the landlord set.

“The government is clear that rent should be agreed between the landlord and tenant, and nothing in our proposals prevents parties negotiating as they do now. It is not for government to set or steer rent increases and we do not support the introduction of rent controls. Evidence suggests that these would discourage investment in the sector and would lead to declining property standards as a result, which would not help landlords or tenants.

“Rent review clauses can provide a means of backdoor eviction through removing the right to challenge above-market increases and may reduce flexibility for landlords to respond to market changes.”

  • jeremy clarke

    If gove said this "Rents in the private rented sector should be agreed between landlords and tenants, and it is not for government to intervene in this" then why on earth do government persist in the interference of the PRS?


    Just be glad you’re not in Scotland, your getting off lightly!

    Barry X

    You are of course ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, @JC....

    it should not even get a mention in the Act....

    The fact its even there, and with all the links to the hugely longwinded, archaic and always many months running FtT is the thin end of the wedge and an extremely serious and bad development, for example giving tenants -especially the younger, better paid and more politically motivated and coached by the likes of Generation rent and Shelter etc - the ability to blackmail and bully landlords who might even only be suggesting modest close to inflation increases that are if anything not enough....

    Just by invoking the FtT process - which will be a hugely demanding and potentially expensive ordeal for the landlord, the tenant will have thrown a spanner in the works, preventing any changes for months, possibly even a year or more based on our own bitter experience of these things with all the "justice system" incompetence, backlogs and woefully inept processes... and all completely free for the tenant and a big laugh.

    Even having this *mentioned* in the act should be another huge RED FLAG that might well be the last straw for a few people who genuinely understand all this and finally realise they've already endured more than enough of this relentless death by a thousand cuts.... and just want out.

  • G romit

    Why would anyone believe a word that backstabbing snake says????


    AS the Head and Shoulders advert says, "We don't".

  • icon

    But still flaky


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