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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Lessons from Germany: tenant power in the rental market

Join IPPR for the launch of its new report, Lessons from Germany: tenant power in the rental market.

The private rented sector in England is growing rapidly, in part in response to the increasing unaffordability of home ownership and the declining supply of social housing. Tenants, however, enjoy limited rights, their tenancies are short, and rents – while in the short-term more affordable than buying – are rising faster than incomes.

The research explores the lessons policymakers can learn from Germany – a country in which renting is the dominant tenure and appears able to offer both stability and security to its 40 million plus tenants. In particular, it considers what England can learn from Germany in areas of tenancy security, controls on cost, and tenant representation.

The report is the second in a series comparing the English and German housing markets, the first of which - German model homes? A comparison of the UK and German housing markets - was published in December 2016.

To accompany the report's publication, IPPR is hosting a panel discussion event, hosted and chaired by the Rt. Hon John Healey MP, and with contributions from:

  • Dr Ed Turner, report author, and senior lecturer and head of politics and international relations at Aston University, based in the Aston Centre for Europe.

  • Luke Murphy, senior research fellow and housing lead at IPPR

  • Professor Christine Whitehead, Emeritus professor of housing economics at the London School of Economics

  • Kate Webb, head of policy at Shelter

In addition to a presentation of IPPR’s key findings and recommendations from the research, the discussion will consider:

  • What lessons can England learn from Germany’s rental market, and what are the levers and drivers required to implement change in this direction? What are the current obstacles?

  • What lessons can be drawn from Germany’s recent attempts to introduce a “rent brake”? And are there any ways the German rental market could be improved by lessons from England?

  • What is the role of tenant representation in improving England’s rental sector, and how can the rights of tenants and the rights of landlords be better balanced?

The event also marks the start of a new programme of work for IPPR through which we are exploring policy reforms which can support a better private rental sector, focusing on three key areas of lettings and tenancies, standards, and build-to-rent.

Sign up now using the booking form below.