Rent Control a '100-year failure'

Rent control a '100-year failure'

By Steve Lafleur, The Leader-Post October 22, 2011 

The New Democrats defeated the scourge of rent control in Saskatchewan during the 1990s. Unfortunately, the same party is now promising to implement "second-gen

While not as disastrous as the former rent-control regime, the newly proposed plan would merely replace one type of rent volatility with another. Second-generation rent control is a failure.

Rent control has been one of the biggest public policy failures of the last hundred years. Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck wrote the famous line that "next to bombing, rent control seems in many cases to be the most efficient technique so far known for destroying cities."

Preventing landlords from charging market-rate rents leads them to skimp on repairs and maintenance. It also removes the incentive for construction of new units. It leads to an under-supply of rental units, which can only be corrected in the long run by rationing or with higher prices.

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