The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has urged the Welsh government to reject rent control proposals, saying this would continue to dissuade investment despite the need for more private rented properties.
The NRLA’s proposals, including an analysis of why the introduction of rent controls would have a destructive impact on the Welsh private rented sector (PRS), were detailed in its Shadow Wales White Paper entitled “The Future of Private Renting in Wales” released on Friday.
“Our white paper sets out what must be done in Wales to build a fairer, more inclusive PRS for both tenants and landlords and the damage that outmoded notions of rent control could have on the market. Ultimately, with affordability and supply issues continuing to dog the Welsh private rented sector, rent controls would exacerbate these ongoing problems and fail to provide a solution fit for the 21st century,” Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive, said.
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The Welsh government has set out the possibility of rent controls being developed as part of its cooperation agreement with Plaid Cymru, despite reports of lack of supply of private rented properties.
An independent report by Capital Economics and commissioned by the NRLA suggested that Wales would need an average of just under 9,000 new private rented properties to meet housing targets.
Only 11% of landlords polled by NRLA said they planned to increase the number of properties they let out while far more, 37%, plan to cut the number of properties they rent out.
“Rather than focus on rents, the Welsh government must target costs, making the provision of homes more affordable. A good start would be removing the controversial 4% Land Transaction Levy on the purchase of additional homes which disincentivises investment in much needed homes,” Beadle said.
The NRLA also proposed to the Welsh government that it allows time for the Renting Homes Act to be properly and fully implemented before embarking on a further round of changes to the private rented sector; and to develop a Welsh Housing Survey, similar to that which is carried out by the UK Government in England to help inform good policymaking.
The group also continues to lobby the UK Government to reverse its decision to freeze the Local
Housing Allowance, and to provide additional support to landlords upgrading the energy efficiency of their properties.