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Are rent caps a good idea?

Rent caps, which set limits on permissible rent charges or cap annual rent increases during tenancies, have been adopted by many cities as a way of curbing rising rents. But do rent caps actually work? Do they keep city rents affordable? Or are they part of the problem?

Yes, rent caps are a good idea

Rent caps keep rents affordable and prevent displacement.

Rent caps keep rent affordable

Rent caps ensure that rents do not increase at a higher rate than wages, elevating everyone's quality of life. Explore

Rent caps prevent displacement

Rent caps prevent families from being forced out of communities because of rising rents, promoting neighbourhood and community diversity. Explore

Rent caps reduce political friction

Without rent caps, urban planning often comes up against stiff local resistance. Explore

No, rent caps are not a good idea

Rent caps fail at their basic function of keeping rents affordable.

Rent caps reduce the number of properties available to rent

Lower returns of investment de-incentivize letting and prompt many landlords to sell their properties for market value rather than accept rent below market value. Explore

Rent caps lead to poorer quality rental units

Rent caps reduce landlord returns on investment. This leaves less cash on hand for home improvements and property maintenance. Explore

Rent caps accelerate gentrification

Rent caps incentivize the construction of new builds to avoid limits, leading to more properties being demolished to make way for swanky new rental properties. Explore

Rent caps disadvantage new renters

Rent caps overwhelmingly favour existing renters and disadvantage renters entering the market. Explore

Rent caps leads to a renter mismatch

Rent caps lead to families holding onto properties that are bigger than they need, reducing rental opportunities for young couples with expanding families. Explore

Rent caps are irrelevant on their own

Without additional legislation, rent caps are irrelevant.

Rent caps are irrelevant without eviction protection

Without eviction protections, rent caps are useless. Landlords can circumvent the rent cap by simply evicting the current renter and replacing them with a higher-paying tenant. Explore
This page was last edited on Monday, 20 Apr 2020 at 11:41 UTC