Jones, Colin
March 1980
Economic Journal;Mar80, Vol. 90 Issue 357, p157
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the effects of the 1974 Rent Act on the supply of furnished properties in the housing market of Great Britain. The use of the number of vacancies advertised as a partial test of a hypothesis that the 1974 Rent Act will particularly reduce the supply of furnished rented properties in the short run is open to question. There are many factors stemming from both supply and demand which influence the supply of vacancies advertised. The rent freeze came into effect on March 8, 1974 and was originally intended to apply until the end of that year but was ultimately extended for a further three months. A landlord who did not comply with this order would be liable to a summary fine of £400. The rent freeze could then have two important effects. First, on the supply side landlords who wished to increase their rents and who were registered with Glasgow University Lodgings Office would have to deregister to avoid observation. Secondly, the fact that rents did in fact rise by so much provided a great incentive for tenants not to move in order to take advantage of the freeze. Thus the rent freeze which logically would affect the market in the same direction as the 1974 Rent Act was introduced only five months prior to the implementation of the act. The result is one of two government policies acting to reduce the number of advertised vacancies on the market. It is impossible to disentangle these two factors. In fact the provision of security of tenure under the Act certainly increased the ability of tenants to remaining their present accommodation if they did not wish to move. Hence, the interactive effect of the two government actions may have accentuated their impact.


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