News

Landlords complain rent controls in Labour-Plaid deal will force them to ‘sell up’

24 Nov 2021 2 minutes Read
The keys to a property

Landlords are complaining a plan to establish rent controls in Wales will force them to “sell up” their properties.

Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru recently unveiled a wide-ranging cooperation agreement that includes a series of measures to tackle housing crisis in Wales.

There is a commitment to taking ”immediate and radical action” to tackle the number of second homes in Wales and to make housing more affordable.

The steps include moves to establish rent controls,  “using the planning, property and taxation systems” to cap second homes and greater powers for local authorities to increase taxes on second homes.

They have come up with the plan in response rocketing house prices and an increase in second homes, which means many young people cannot afford to get on the property ladder.

Gillian Owens, 65, who has a portfolio of seven buy-to-lets, six of which are in Wales, has hit out at the plan.

She told The Telegraph: “Rent controls drive perverse activity. They will just drive landlords out of the market,” said Mrs Owens. “We have talked about starting to sell up, slowly but surely.”

They say that once the Welsh Government introduces rent controls they plan to sell one property per year, to avoid a large capital gains tax bill.

‘Raise rents’ 

Another landlord in Wales, Ros Beck, 56, has argued that rent controls are a counterproductive measure because landlords would rush to raise rents before the new rules come into force.

He said: “I haven’t put my rents up for two years, but when the deal was announced, one of my landlord friends said ‘get your rents up quick’ to me.”

Ben Beadle, of the National Residential Landlords Association, a lobby group for landlords, said: “A government may legislate to cap rents, but if landlords’ costs continue to rise they will be forced to withdraw from the market.”

“It is frustrating that rather than look for solutions which encourage the increased supply of homes, politicians are looking to scapegoat landlords as the cause of the rising cost of living.”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
29 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Owen Jones
Owen Jones
10 days ago

“Rent controls drive perverse activity. They will just drive landlords out of the market,” said Mrs Owens. “We have talked about starting to sell up, slowly but surely.”

You say that like it’s a bad thing.

Stefan
Stefan
9 days ago
Reply to  Owen Jones

It’s an idiotic policy. People can’t afford to buy, landlords provide a housing solution. Rent does not = mortgage cost because (a) landlords are not a charity to provide a public service; (b) there is very significant risk involved in letting a property, which tenants and clearly ministers do not appreciate. Risk = cost.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
10 days ago

Sounds good to me. Many landlords have been ripping people off for long enough!

Three cheers for Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru!

Andrew
Andrew
10 days ago

There are many decent landlords out there, but there are also loads who get rich by milking the system by letting out sub standard tenancies that result in the most vulnerable living in slum like conditions. These are the poorest in society who are funded by working people’s taxes, so I think it only fair that there is some kind of cap on how much tax payers money can go to landlords who in some cases, have a vast portfolio and ultimately get wealthy on tax payers money. Perhaps it is not a bad thing if some of these houses… Read more »

Stefan
Stefan
9 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Taxpayers’ money?

Glynn Alwyn-Jones
Glynn Alwyn-Jones
10 days ago

Whilst I cannot be certain, it is possible that Ros Beck is an English landlord from Greater Manchester that owns properties in Wales as he wishes to make a profit. As that profit is at the expense of Welsh people who cannot afford his rents, the sooner that rent controls are brought in, which will cause him to sell and buy properties in say Stockport, the better.

David Smith
David Smith
10 days ago

Remember what the Irish did to their absentee landlords? 🤣

anon
anon
10 days ago

I’d ask people to take a look at the rents charged in a small University city like Bangor where the average salary is £21,000 (elevated by University and a large Hospital) most people are in fact earning between £14 – 17K. Rents for a one-bedroom studio flat are around £650, a 4 bedroom student house as much as £2500 per month. In effect, there is a cabal of landlords who control the rental market and ensure they receive maximum rent for their properties. There are also pointless quangos created by the councils and housing associations to assist locals with renting… Read more »

David Smith
David Smith
10 days ago
Reply to  anon

The university is far, far too bloated for that town, I’d happily see half of it bulldozed. And I say that as an alumnus.

Gruff Williams
Gruff Williams
10 days ago

My heart bleeds for each and every one of the bloodsucking gits.

Dewi Evans
Dewi Evans
10 days ago
Reply to  Gruff Williams

Oh Griff! Chwarae teg.

David Smith
David Smith
10 days ago

I wonder how many did jolly well out of Right to Buy, both by hoovering up cheap properties at the right time, and by cashing in on the reduced availability of social housing. Funny how these types are all for government interventions in the free market when it suits them, eh?

Dewi Evans
Dewi Evans
10 days ago
Reply to  David Smith

Yep!

Dewi Evans
Dewi Evans
10 days ago

Well, they can sell their property / properties can’t they? I’d propose selling to a Housing Association or Local Authority to make up for the Grand Larceny of the Thatcher Government selling council houses and pocketing the money, not giving it to LAs to build more homes.
A bit of prozac would probably help the poor diddums as well.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
10 days ago

I am strongly in favour of rent controls and so, amazingly enough, is the Tory government. They call theirs Local Housing Allowance and impose it on tenants.

Any change will benefit tenants and it is way past time that Thatcher’s egregious 1988 removal of controls which Scotland is also reintroducing was reversed.

Gill
Gill
10 days ago

Great! When you get people like the secret millionaire flooding a town with rental accommodation being subbed by the taxpayer, making neighbourhoods a misery,its time for radical change

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
10 days ago

I want to buy a house, I don’t like people from over the border outpricing me in my own town who have never stepped a foot here or Wales. It’s ridiculous, apparently I can afford rent that is higher than mortgage payments, but they don’t think I have enough money to pay the mortgage which is way cheaper what I am paying my a-hole landlord. Absolute joke of a system where change is long overdue. The only people complaining about this are the a-hole landlords who expect me to pay their mortgage while they sit on their arse doing nothing… Read more »

Alun
Alun
10 days ago

Judging by the comments and likes, the Plaid – Labour agreement seems to have tapped into a rich vein of resentment against landlords. Chwarae teg

Quornby
Quornby
9 days ago

O dear those poor landlords….. Bless em.

Gee Morri
Gee Morri
9 days ago

I can understand the thought but its a very city centric policy and having lived in Amsterdam, rent controls have fueled subletting to internationals, short-term serviced apartments, and airbnb at massively higher prices instead because major cities attract these kind of demographics. This has inflated prices due to lack of residential accommodation, forcing social and affordable housing further to the outskirts which doesn’t look very well maintained (social cleansing to cheaper areas), precisely opposite of what the policy is trying to achieve. Probably better to focus on the Local Housing Allowance which has been ‘frozen’ for so many years, forcing… Read more »

David Llewellyn Davies
David Llewellyn Davies
9 days ago

Everything in this piece was positive news, away you go

Peter
Peter
9 days ago

Homes for other people to rent are not 2nd homes, secondly those nice people provide living room for those to rent who cannot or will not be tired down with a mortgage ,, and who are offen local themselves! New should be build to replace old houses which are no longer fit for the future of cost of living. You should be thankful that those landlords are providing roof over for people heads , the local government is not!

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.