From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
Rent control (also called rent regulation) is a system of laws, administered by a court or a public authority, which limits the changes that can be made in the price of renting a house or other real property. Usually the objective is to limit the price that would result from the market, where inequality of bargaining power between landlords and tenants produces continually escalating prices.
Regulation of rents is most frequently seen in residential housing. It functions as a price ceiling. Rent regulation exists in approximately 40 countries around the world. Rent control laws vary from one country to another, and may vary from one jurisdiction to another within some countries.
Rent control is intended to protect tenants in privately owned residential properties from excessive rent increases by mandating gradual rent increases, while at the same time ensuring that landlords receive a return on their investment that is deemed fair by the controlling authority (which might, or might not be a legislature). Sometimes called rent leveling or rent stabilization, rent control promotes economic stability by slowing displacement in booming economic cycles.
It has been argued by some economists that some forms of rent control create shortages and exacerbate scarcity in the housing market.