rent control, in economics and law, government regulation of rent to prevent unreasonable or excessive increases. In the United States, the federal government imposed rent control (and other price controls) during World War II, and continued it in several cities after the war because of housing shortages. It was later turned over to the control of individual states and municipalities and has since ended in most locations.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.