The Living Rent Commission

The commission was made up of representatives from across the housing sector, including renters, to explore the issues facing people who rent and options to tackle the rent crisis in the city.

It looked at how Bristol can become a living rent city, without having a negative impact on the quality or availability of rental property.

The Living Rent Commission was launched in July 2022 following a Renters' Summit which took place in March 2022.

The main aims of the commission were to:

  • improve affordability of the private rented sector
  • understand the impact of regulation on rent prices, including on housing quality and maintenance
  • identifying the most effective rent controls
  • consider what other powers are required
  • consider how to empower tenants' rights

Bristol Rent Commission report

As part of its work looking to improve the affordability, quality and tenant experience of the private rented sector in Bristol, the commission has looked at how we can improve the sector, including what the impact of rent regulation across the city could be.

A report, written by the University of Bristol has found that there is substantial popular support for rent control to help make renting more affordable.

It sets out a range of recommendations based on evidence of the challenges we face and potential solutions we could introduce.

We have made sure that a wide range of people have been heard during the process, including listening to the lived experience of tenants, residents and landlords.

In total, the final report outlines 29 recommendations. Read the full Bristol Living Rent Commission report.

Renters' Summit

On 2 March 2022, nearly 150 people who rent homes came together to share their experiences and work on solutions.

We teamed up with the Bristol Fair Renting Campaign, which is supported by Shelter, and community union ACORN Go to (opens new window) to look at options for tackling the rent crisis in Bristol.

We agreed to look at: 

  • the possibility of introducing rent controls in the city
  • discussing enforcement powers
  • ways to tackle discrimination in renting

We will be seeking more views from people affected by the renting crisis across Bristol, through further engagement, taking place soon. We want to find a solution that works for people who feel they are being forced out of the city.

Renting in Bristol

There are over 134,000 people currently renting privately in Bristol, this represents almost one-third of the population.

Over the last decade, private rents in Bristol have increased by 52%, while wages have only risen by 24%.

On average, Bristol residents now need almost nine times their annual salary to buy a house.

The spiralling costs mean housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable, pushing many further away from their place of work, family, and support networks.