What is Rent Regulation?

Alternative Forms: Rent control
Legal Definition
Rent regulation is a system of laws, administered by a court or a public authority, which aim to ensure the quality and affordability of housing and tenancies on the rental market for land. Comprehensive rent regulation is common in Commonwealth and European Union countries, including Canada, Germany, Ireland, Cyprus and Sweden, and also some states in the United States. Generally a system of rent regulation involves:

  • price controls, limits on the rent that landlord may charge, historically known as rent control
  • standards by which a landlord may terminate a tenancy (an equivalent of unfair dismissal from employment in tenancies)
  • obligations on the landlord or tenant regarding adequate maintenance of the property
  • a system of oversight and enforcement by an independent regulator and Ombudsman

The classic objective is to limit the price that would result from the market, where an inequality of bargaining power between landlords and tenants produces continually escalating prices without any stable market equilibrium. However, according to survey data, 93% of economists would argue that "a ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available."
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Rent control refers to laws or ordinances that set price controls on the renting of residential housing. It functions as a price ceiling.