Rent controls would lead to more regulation and less housing supply, warns the founder of Hunters estate agency, Kevin Hollinrake MP (main pic).
During a debate in the Commons about the merits of abolishing Section 21 evictions, Hollinrake told fellow MPs that controls had removed the free market when he worked in York during the 1980s.
“There was so little choice back then because we did not have Section 21, so if someone invested in the private rented sector and rented a property out – if they were a landlord – and somebody occupied their property, in effect they did so permanently if they wanted.
“Members might think that is a really good idea and the solution to our problems; I fear it would lead to many unintended consequences, as it did back then.”
He added that rent controls measures being advocated by opposition MPs would lead to a reduction in supply, which would ultimately be massively counterproductive for tenants.
“It would end up putting layer upon layer of legislation on top of what the government are currently thinking of doing in terms of the abolition of Section 21. That will lead to more and more regulation, which will lead to less and less supply.”
Hollinrake said Section 21 should not be abolished without more measures relating to how the sector dealt with Section 8. “It takes around eight months to get somebody out of a property using Section 8,” he said.
“If someone with one or two properties has a tenant who does not pay their rent for eight months, for whatever reason, that can be devastating to their investment, so lots of SMEs will exit the marketplace, particularly if we abolish Section 21 without first reforming the court- based process.”
Read the LandlordZONE guide to Section 8.
Pic credit: Kevin Hollinrake.