Property Investors Do Not Need to Worry About Rent Control in England
According to Housing Secretary Michael Gove, rent controls will not come into effect in England.
In a letter to the all-party Select Committee for Housing, Michael Gove confirmed that Valuation Office Agency data would not be made public, preventing an assessment to define “justified rent increases”.
Read on to see how this affects buy-to-let investment properties in 2023.
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What Rent Controls Are in the UK Currently?
In Scotland, a rent freeze became law in October 2022. However, it transitioned into a cap of 3%, meaning rents can only be increased by that percentage. In some situations, rents can increase by 6%.
A similar rent control policy is under consideration in Wales.
Consider reading our recently updated investment guides for a full breakdown of UK buy-to-let rules.
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What Did Gove’s Letter Say About Rent Controls?
Gove had the following to say about rents in the private rented sector:
“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.
He said that rent disputes should go to the First-Tier Tribunal and that judging market rent would involve considering numerous factors, such as nearby amenities, fixings quality and more.
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What is the Select Committee and What Did They Suggest About Rent Increases?
The Select Committee is a group of MPS who consider government policy.
In response to a potential rent increase, they asked the government to clarify how much rents would increase and to create mandatory break periods where tenants could go to the First-Tier Tribunal if they thought their rent had risen above fair local market values.
Gove rejected the suggestion. He said:
“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 [referring to the Renters Reform Bill], 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.”.
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How Does the UK Rental Market Look Right Now?
According to the Homelet Rental Index, the UK average rent had increased by 10.09% over the last year. The figure stands at £1,276 PCM.
According to a property report from Zoopla, the North of England offers some of the best rental yields in the country, with Liverpool commanding an average of 7.21%, thanks to low property values and competitive rents.
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