Rent control

From Academic Kids

Rent Control refers to laws or ordinances that regulate how much a property can be rented for or how much rent can be increased at certain times, such as the renewal of a lease. It functions as a price ceiling in most cases.

In the United States, rent control is rare outside of cities with large tenant populations, such as New York and San Francisco. Smaller communities also have rent control, notably Santa Monica, California and many small towns in New Jersey. In recent years, several cities, such as Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, have ended rent control, while others, including Santa Monica, have limited its reach to cover only poorer tenants or existing tenants.

Proponents of rent control claim that it is necessary to prevent greedy landlords from evicting the elderly and the poor, a consequence of gentrification. Some proponents make the argument that housing is an inalienable human right and prioritize tenant rights above those of landlords. Other advocates claim that maintaining a supply of affordable housing is essential to sustaining job growth, particularly in the traditionally low-paying service sector — asserting that without rent control, only young people still living at home with their parents could work for the prevailing wages in such industries.

Opponents of rent control, which according to surveys include over 90 percent of economists of all political views, ranging from Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek to Paul Krugman and Gunnar Myrdal, claim that rent control results in an overall decrease in the quantity and quality of housing stock in a city, and that its benefits accrue disproportionately to the wealthy and well-connected. They argue that the goal of making housing affordable and available to the poor can be accomplished by a variety of more efficient methods, though the nature of the preferred remedy, if any at all, varies with different economists. Conservative and libertarian opponents also consider it an intrusion into the free market and an immoral abrogation of a landlord's right over his property.

External links

Further reading

  • Gilderbloom, John I. Editor. Rent Control: A Source Book. Center for Policy Alternatives; 3rd edition, June 1, 1981. ISBN 0938806017.
  • Niebanck, by Paul L. Editor. The Rent Control Debate. Urban and Regional Policy and Development Studies. 148 pages. University of North Carolina Press. February 1, 1986. ISBN 0807816701.
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