Making renting fit for families: the impact of different forms of rent regulation

By: John Bibby  Published: July 2015


The Shelter briefing sets out a brief summary of the research and states Shelter's reaction to it. The full research is available in the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning report.

Summary

A quarter of families now bring up their children in the private rented sector (PRS). But the sector is not fit for families. A crowded market and our renting laws make it fundamentally unstable, while high rents make it unaffordable.

Reforms to rent regulation have been proposed as a means of both improving stability in renting by making rents more predictable, and improving affordability by bringing rents down. But the problems in the PRS are interconnected in complex ways and we need to make sure that any effort to improve one aspect of it will not have adverse unintended side effects on others. To date, there has been very little good quality research on what the effect of different rent regimes might be, specific to the English context. We therefore commissioned the Centre for Housing and Planning Research at the University of Cambridge to investigate the consequences of different regulatory regimes for rents. This research is the first of its kind specific to the English rental market and the best evidence available today for those considering how rent regulation should change.