Shadow minister slams rent control plans
A Conservative MS has warned that plans to introduce rent controls in Wales next year could result in higher rents and poorer quality housing for tenants.
Janet Finch-Saunders MS, the Shadow Minister for Climate Change, also called for a “more supportive approach” towards the private rental market.
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 includes 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.
Mrs Janet Finch-Saunders, MS for Aberconwy, said: “We need a realistic and supportive approach towards the private rental market.
“Welsh Labour policy threatens a state sanctioned rent increase which could make the Welsh rental market unbearable for thousands of families across Wales.
“Rent controls have been proven time and time again to not only be ineffective at combatting the issue of affordability, but to have actually been detrimental to the housing market.
“On top of the mountain of existing legislation, further excessive state intervention could lead to landlords being forced out of the sector, resulting in a decrease in the supply of rental homes for those who cannot or are not looking to buy.
“Case studies from around the world demonstrate the damaging effects that the introduction of rent controls can have. Look at San Francisco where the housing supply fell by 15 per cent, while in Berlin rent shot up by almost 10 per cent between 2015 and 2017 following the introduction of rent controls.”
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