As deregulation takes place in the UK, rent tribunals are confronted with the problem of setting a “market rent” for previously controlled property. A simple partial equilibrium model of a sector of the rented accommodation market is used to examine the question of setting a “market rent” in the controlled‐rent subsector. It is shown that setting the controlled rent equal to the rent prevailing in the uncontrolled part of the market is sub‐optimal, and a simple formula is suggested which will give a better estimate of the true free market rent.
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