Essay on Rent Control: Pros and Cons

1270 Words Dec 17th, 1999 6 Pages
Rent Control: Pros and Cons

Evaluate the pros and cons of rent control and rent stabilization in NYC.

Rent control is the government imposition of price ceilings on rent for
apartments in certain areas of a city. The goal is usually to protect the rights
of the poor. Thus, in a rent controlled or rent stabilized building, the amount
of rent will not increase as quickly as inflation. While the moral side of rent
control may have some appeal, in the long run the disadvantages far outweigh the

Those who argue in favor of rent control say that it is the only way to protect
lower-income tenants from landlords who overprice, and from being forced to move
out of a neighborhood because they cannot afford the rent. Limiting the
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This is because even if rent controls don't include new constructions, owners
are afraid to build any new buildings if in a few years those too will be taken
over by rent control. Rent control thus leads to less construction and an even
greater unsatisfied demand. This, in turn, increases the rents of uncontrolled
apartments even more. New constructions are also avoided because banks and
insurance companies don't want to invest in areas where rent control is in
effect, because they know that it is likely that landlords will not be able to
pay for the building, and they will lose their investment.

For all of these reasons, I believe that rent control should be abandoned in New
York City. The situation we have is of many run-down buildings that are rent
controlled, and other areas where rent is so expensive that no one from the
middle class can afford to live in them. On top of all this, in New York, many
people rent out their rent controlled apartments for a profit — a practice which
is opposite to the initial spirit of rent control legislation. Without rent
control, the housing situation in New York would be more equitable for everyone,
and the city would benefit.

Critically evaluate the issues in the people versus places controversy.

The people versus places controversy is concerned with two basic philosophies of
distributing benefits with the goal of improving living standards and local
economic development. In basic terms,…

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