Rent Regulation: Balance between Private Landlords and Tenants in Six European Countries (May 2008)

  • Rent regulation: the balance between private landlords and tenants in six European countries

  • By Marietta Haffner, Marja Elsinga and Joris Hoekstra. Published online in the European Journal of Housing Policy on 29 May 2008

  • Abstract:

    • The private rental sector has been declining in many European countries.

    • In describing the decline of the private rental sector, it is often suggested that a causal relationship exists between the decrease in private renting and rent control.

    • The assumption is that the stricter the form of rent control, the greater the decrease in private renting levels. Or, conversely, that with fewer rent controls there are more opportunities for the private rental sector.

    • At the same time, however, an unregulated rental market may result in insecurity for tenants.

    • This text focuses on conflicts of interest between private landlords and tenants in the regulation of rents, from a welfare economics viewpoint.

    • We present the results of a comparative study that involves France, England, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands. We describe the system of rent regulation in each country.

    • We conclude that the balance achieved between landlords and tenants as a result of rent regulation may not be as clear-cut as it is often presented to be.

  • Keywords: rent regulation, landlords, tenants, France, England, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands

Rent regulation has a long history and it has been research and documented. This provides opportunities for solid and evidence-based journalistic accounts of recent and current rent regulation initiatives.