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Rent control is a general term for the regulation of the rents charged by owners of residential property. Imposed mostly during times of war or rapid inflation, rent controls are intended to protect tenants from steep increases in housing costs. In addition, rent controls can also cover other rights of tenure, such as protections against arbitrary eviction.

A bête noir in economics, rent control is criticized on many counts. It is alleged to distort the normal functioning of the private housing market by creating perverse incentives for landlords and tenants. Because it restricts the amount of rent that landlords may charge, rent control might reduce the incentive to invest in residential property, thereby leading to inadequate maintenance and consequent physical deterioration. Similarly, rent control might inhibit ...

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