aerial of los angeles apartments and housing

Controlling Rents

This course introduces planners to the debate surrounding rent control, discussing both what rent control is able to accomplish, and where it often has unintended consequences.

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Course Info

  • Duration 8 video lessons (76 Mins)
  • Published Published
  • 4.53
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Browse Course Chapters

  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 2 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    What Rent Control Aims to Achieve
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Price Ceilings and Their Consequences
    Chapter Duration 18 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    First Generation or 'Hard' Rent Ceilings
    Chapter Duration 15 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Second Generation, 'Soft' Rent Ceilings
    Chapter Duration 12 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Second Generation, 'Soft' Rent Ceilings Part 2
    Chapter Duration 13 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Sources and Symptoms
    Chapter Duration 6 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    So What Can Be Done?
    Chapter Duration 3 mins

What You Will Learn

  • Understand what rent control laws are, and what they try to accomplish
  • Understand the history of rent control, and how it has changed over time
  • The evidence: does rent control work? 
  • Understand alternative approaches to helping renters, and especially low-income renters

Course Description

Many American urban areas are in the grip of a housing crisis, with the burdens of that crisis falling most heavily on renters. A seemingly straightforward response to the crisis, then, is to enact rent control: pass laws to either keep rents from rising or to regulate the pace at which they are allowed to rise.

It would be an understatement to call rent control controversial. Many tenants support it, most landlords despise it, economists are notoriously suspicious of it, and some cities are considering it. St. Paul, Minnesota has enacted rent control i recent years, and Boston is considering bringing it back. Cities that already have rent control are entertaining proposals to make their rules more stringent. 

What is the rent control debate all about? Is rent control an effective way to advance housing affordability? This course will introduce planners to the rent control debate and discuss what rent control is able to accomplish, and where it often has unintended consequences.  

Learn these skills

  • Economics
  • Housing
  • Land Use
  • Law and Policy
  • Real Estate
  • Regulations
  • Urbanism


This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.


This course is 1.25 LU.

Meet Your Instructor

Michael Manville

Michael Manville

Michael Manville is Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Meet Instructor

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Great treatment of a difficult topic.
- Ryan H.
5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review
Excellent course. Took a very complicated topic and broke it down to easily understand. Thank you.
- Catherine T.
5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review

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