Simon Gordon is a consultant to the Residential Landlords Association.
The calls for rent controls in the private rented sector are growing louder in response to what are seen as excessively high rents, especially in London.
The reality is that despite the myth their critics perpetuate that landlords are seeking to profiteer from the accommodation they rent, they have in fact been increasing rents far less than inflation, unlike the subsidised social housing sector.
Figures contained within the 2011/12 English Housing Survey show that between 2008/09 and 2011/12 average weekly rents in the private rented sector increased from £153 to £164, an increase of 7.2%. This equates to annual increases of 1.8% over the four years.
Over the same period, social rents saw an average 16.9% increase, from £71 to £83 equal to 4.2% a year. Inflation measured using the Retail Price Index, which includes housing costs, over the same four year period stood at 12.5%.