0:05 AM, 7th June 2023, About 6 months ago 11
As the Welsh Government unveils its Green Paper to address adequate rented housing and fair rents, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is calling on landlords to make their views known.
It says that everyone concerned with housing matters should voice their opinions on shaping the destiny of the private rented sector in Wales.
The call comes after government announced a consultation which aims to gather insights on understanding rents, including affordability, and strategies for enhancing rented home supply and quality in the sector.
The chief executive of the NRLA, Ben Beadle, said: “The Green Paper highlights the key issues as housing supply and affordability of rents in Wales.
“Let’s be clear, rent controls would serve only to decimate the sector further and would be a disaster for tenants, when so many are already struggling to find a place to rent.”
He added: “The Minister herself diagnosed the issues when she rightly rejected calls for a rent freeze before Christmas. The same reasons apply now.
“We all want to see more homes available to rent but adopting the tried and failed ideology of rent controls is not the way to do it.”
He says the best way for the Welsh government to deal with housing issues is to introduce pro-growth measures that will boost housing supply and reduce rents.
Mr Beadle said: “Now is the time for landlords to get involved and for the Welsh Government to listen carefully to the views of those providing much needed homes.”
The NRLA says that its members should respond to the consultation call and submit their views.
Commenting on the Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru call for evidence on securing a path towards adequate housing, including fair rents and affordability, Janet Finch-Saunders MS, a Conservative assembly member, said: “More socialist and nationalist red tape and consultations are not going to reduce rents and deliver more affordable housing.
“Instead of focussing on doubling our new house building rate in Wales, the Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru cooperation government are focussed on attacking the tourism sector, alienating visitors, and driving private landlords out of Wales.
“I have repeatedly delivered a clear plan to the Welsh Parliament that would deliver more houses, more social and affordable homes, and more homes to rent in Wales.”
Ms Finch-Saunders added: “The Renting Homes (Wales) Act has caused a tsunami of landlords to leave the sector. It needs to be scrapped.
“We need to be delivering new social housing in crisis communities where locals are struggling to afford a home, and empower them to buy that home after a decade.
“What we don’t need is rent controls, which international evidence from a number of continents has already proven to be a disaster.
“I am fighting to deliver homes for local people. All Labour and Plaid Cymru are doing is providing a false façade that they are tackling the problem of lack of housing, when in reality they are making the crisis worse, pushing more families into temporary accommodation, alienating landlords and villainising visitors.”
The paper – ‘A Call for Evidence on Securing a Path Towards Adequate Housing’ – makes clear that the government is ‘interested in people’s experience of the cost of renting a home in Wales’.
One of the issues raised is that of potentially imposing rent control measures.
The document says that some countries have rules that regulate rents, such as rent caps, and asks tenants if they believe that rent controls are needed in Wales.
The consultation period ends on 15 September and the responses will ‘inform the development of a White Paper’ consultation next year – landlords and those interested can submit their views online.