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Our regular round up of news items for you.

Avoid rent freezes but some controls can work claims report

This week the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence released their report on the applications of rent control within the UK.

In short, while the report admits that policies such as rent control and rent freezes can be attractive to politicians due to their fast-acting easy to implement nature, these policies often have an adverse effect on the sector.

The report says that there is an overall lack of outstanding of:

Landlord supply structure, how segments of rental markets function and operate with different degrees of interdependence, and the extent to which local markets are volatile and subject to external shocks.

The report calls for a wider conversation based more on the entire rented sector as a whole, and not to just focus simply on rents. This means looking at how different controls affect the supply of properties, and whether the controls lead to landlords quitting the sector.

The full report can be read here

In addition, Landlord Law Blog looked at rent controls and the potential pitfalls in a two part series post which can be read here

Calls for Government to restart Empty Homes Programme

Propertymark are calling for new financial incentives to bring thousands of empty homes into the private rented sector in order to bring a much-needed boost to the supply of houses for renters.

This includes the call for the Government to restart the Empty Homes Programme, which closed in 2015. Alongside this, Propertymark has also called for other financial incentives such as removing VAT on home and energy efficiency improvements as well as discounts or exemptions to council tax and stamp duty when empty properties are purchased and utilised.

This, the letting agents’ body hopes, will help supplement the other benefits seen in Levelling Up white paper released a few weeks ago.

The latest data from action shows that the number of empty homes stands at 238,306 which is 20% higher than at the start of the initial empty homes programme initiative.

NRLA asks Government how PRS can help Ukrainian Refugees

The National Residential Landlords association has this week asked for clarity by the Government on how the private rented sector can help with Ukrainian refugees.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously said that 100,000 Ukrainian refugees will be allowed into the country.

However, the NRLA are asking for the Government to issue specific landlord guidance: such as where landlords should register properties that would be suitable to house refugees.

In addition to this, Airbnb has offered temporary accommodation up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees around Europe.

Airbnb in a statement wrote that it will work with various Governments across Europe and will hope to fund this through the refugee fund on the Airbnb site.  Airbnb has already received a surge of donations from companies and individuals in the past 24 hours.

Snippets

Newsround will be back next week.

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