Will the Government in Rhode Island determine what a home owner can charge for rent?

Dated: February 2 2024

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Rent Control In Rhode Island? 

Rent Control Rhode Island REMAX

Apartment rents in the Providence-Warwick metropolitan area are rising faster than anywhere else in the country, according to a new analysis by rent.com.

The Providence metro median rent rose by 21.55% year over year in December to $2,752, the highest percentage increase among the 50 metro areas analyzed by the Atlanta-based apartment search engine. The Columbus, Ohio metro was second with an 11.56% year-over-year increase to $1,747.

Researchers analyzed rental property prices to identify median rent prices at the national, state and metro levels. The analysis combined inventory and bedroom types into one median that covers all available rental units at the time.

The national median price for an apartment in December was $1,964, 40% lower than the median price in the Providence metro, which includes all Rhode Island counties and Bristol County, Mass.

Source-Providence Business News February 2, 2024

In recent years, the issue of affordable housing has become increasingly prominent in Rhode Island and other parts of the country sparking debates over the role of government in regulating rent increases. Advocates argue that controlling rent hikes is essential for ensuring housing affordability and stability, while critics raise concerns about potential negative impacts on property owners and the housing market as a whole. In this blog post, we will delve into the pros and cons of government intervention in controlling rent increases.


  1. Affordable Housing: According to Robert Scaralia of REMAX 1st Choice in Cranston, Rhode Island one of the primary arguments in favor of government control of rent increases is its potential to maintain affordable housing options for residents, especially in areas where housing costs are soaring. By capping rent increases, governments can help prevent price gouging and ensure that individuals and families have access to stable and reasonably priced housing.

  2. Social Equity: Rent control measures can promote social equity by preventing displacement and gentrification of lower-income communities. Without government intervention, rapidly rising rents in desirable neighborhoods can force long-term residents out of their homes, leading to socioeconomic segregation and inequality.

  3. Economic Stability: Rent control policies can contribute to economic stability by providing tenants with predictable housing costs. This stability allows individuals and families to budget more effectively, reducing financial stress and potentially stimulating consumer spending in other areas of the economy.

  4. Mitigating Homelessness: By stabilizing rental prices, government intervention can help mitigate homelessness by reducing the risk of eviction due to unaffordable rent increases. Stable housing is crucial for individuals and families to maintain employment, access education, and lead healthy lives.


  1. Market Distortion: Critics argue that government control of rent increases distorts the housing market by artificially suppressing rental prices. This can disincentivize investment in rental properties, leading to a shortage of available housing units and exacerbating affordability issues in the long run.

  2. Property Rights: Opponents of rent control measures often highlight concerns about infringement on property owners' rights. Property owners argue that they should have the freedom to set rental prices based on market demand and property maintenance costs without government interference.

  3. Maintenance and Investment: Rent control policies may discourage property owners from investing in property maintenance and upgrades. With limited ability to increase rental income, owners may have less incentive to invest in improving the quality of rental units, potentially leading to deteriorating housing conditions over time.

  4. Shortage of Rental Units: Rent control measures can contribute to a shortage of available rental units in high-demand areas. Landlords may be less inclined to rent out their properties if they cannot adjust rents to match market conditions, leading to decreased rental housing supply and increased competition for existing units.

The debate over government control of rent increases is complex, with valid arguments on both sides said Scaralia. While rent control measures aim to promote housing affordability and stability, they also raise concerns about market distortion and property rights. Finding a balance between protecting tenants and respecting property owners' rights is essential in crafting effective housing policies that address affordability challenges while maintaining a healthy housing market. Ultimately, a nuanced approach that considers the unique dynamics of each housing market may be necessary to achieve sustainable solutions to the ongoing affordable housing in Rhode Island

For more information about the Rhode Island real estate market contact

REMAX 1st Choice www.realestateRI.com

REMAX 1st Choice Rhode Island

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Rob Scaralia

As a second generation Rhode Island Realtor, you can say Rob grew up in the real estate business. Real Estate has been a family tradition for over 60 years, which means treating all of my clients lik....

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