Landlords organisation publishes ‘Shadow White Paper’ opposing rent controls in Wales
The National Residential Landlords Association has published a Shadow White Paper as part of its campaign to oppose the introduction of rent controls in Wales.
The report sets out how the group believes the nation’s private rented sector can be improved but rejects rent controls as “outmoded”.
The NRLA claims the prospect of rent controls being introduced next year are already beginning to bite, with its own research showing that 37 per cent of landlord plan to cut the number of properties they rent out, compared to just 11 per cent who said they planned to increase their number of rentals.
The report says: “The implementation of the Renting Homes Act represents some of the most significant changes the rental market in Wales has ever seen.
“At the same time, as the country recovers from the COVID pandemic, the supply of homes for long term rent is failing to meet strong demand. As the sector grapples with these twin challenges, the Welsh Government has pledged, in its Cooperation Agreement with Plaid Cymru, to publish a White Paper that would include proposals for rent controls.
“We share the same goal as the Welsh Government on private rented housing – we want a sector that is affordable, accessible and that works for both tenants and the vast majority of landlords who are fair and responsible.
“Ultimately, however, the drawbacks that will come from rent controls will significantly outweigh any possible short-term gains that might be delivered by such a policy, as evidence from both the UK and internationally shows clearly.
“The best way to improve the affordability of private rented housing is to address the fact that supply of private rented housing is failing to match increasing demand.”
The Shadow White Paper also for reforms to Rent Smart Wales to “improve enforcement against rogue and criminal landlords” along with the development of a Welsh Housing Survey to “ensure better informed, evidence driven, policy”.
Last November Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru announced a wide-ranging cooperation agreement that included a series of measures to tackle the 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.
This 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.
The proposals have been made in response to rocketing house prices across Wales and an increase in the number of second homes, which means many young people cannot afford to get on the property ladder.
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