Fair rent limit outcry

12 February 1999

Fair rent limit outcry

A NEW limit on fair rent increases introduced by the government this month amounts to arbitrary, counterproductive, state control and should be kept under close review, according to rural business adviser Strutt and Parker.

Fair rent tenants are already protected from unjustified rent increases by an existing rule which prevents landlords charging a premium for such properties in sought-after locations, says the firms Leo Hickish. As a result, fair rents remain on average 50% lower than open market rents.

"We believe few properties are currently registered at the true fair rent. Yet the minister has just announced that the first re-registration of a rent will be limited to a maximum increase of RPI plus 7.5%. Thereafter, future rent reviews will be limited to a maximum of RPI plus 5%."

The fact that over 60% of tenants in fair rent houses are retired, and a significant number receive housing benefit, suggests why the revision has occurred, says Mr Hickish.

"The government has stated its intention to reduce the burden on the state caused by steadily increasing housing benefit claims. Any attempt to effectively pass on this liability to the private landlord is blatantly unfair." &#42

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