Rent Control: A Proposal for Reform
28 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2012
Date Written: 1995
Rent control is a matter of considerable academic and political controversy. This article explores three distinct approaches that have been taken by commentators: the libertarian view espoused by Epstein; the connection between home and personhood analyzed by Radin; and the economic welfare approach. Within the latter perspective, this article places particular emphasis on the role of rent control as a substitute for long-term contracting. The article then proposes a reform to rent control that attempts to address concerns raised by the three approaches. The proposed regime decontrols rents for tenants moving into apartments, while rent in occupied apartments rises at market rates set by a government agency. The paper further suggests a transition scheme to move from present Ontario rent control rules to the proposed regime.
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