Rent control is a policy frequently criticised and misunderstood by both liberals and conservatives alike. The term “rent control” often sparks concern, particularly among proponents of a capitalist economy rooted in a free and competitive market, which prioritises the preservation of private property rights above other forms of ownership. Consequently, one of the ramifications of this stance is the commodification of housing, the diminishing of its social value, and the degradation of the built environment to perpetuate the commodification of land, all in pursuit of maximising profits.

The ongoing debate concerning housing and its significance within our urban socio-economic framework persists. At the centre of this discourse lies the rent control policy, notable for its constraint on market mechanisms. In this article, we aim to dismantle prevailing misconceptions surrounding rent control policy and advocate for its necessity in present-day Lebanon, contextualised within historical local rent trends and drawing insights from various countries’ experiences. Furthermore, we examine the criteria that should guide the development of rent control policies and propose strategies for structuring them to ensure housing stability and to shield tenants from exploitation.

Housing Lebanon