The redistributional impact of modern rent control
Since the early 1970s over 200 cities in the United States of America have enacted rent control. Currently 10% of the nation's renters are covered by some form of rent regulation, yet little is known about the economic consequences of rent control. Most evidence suggests that modern rent controls have little or no impact on the amount of investment in rental housing. Such a finding is primarily because of the nonrestrictive nature of most current rent control ordinances, which typically exempt newly constructed housing, guarantee a fair and reasonable return on investment, and allow for annual rent adjustments to cover increases in operating costs. Although this relatively mild type of rent control succeeds in limiting extreme rent increases, it does not result in significant relief from high rents in most regulated cities. Only with strong rent control ordinances will rents be significantly impacted.
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