Propertymark calls for better landlord support in Wales

Propertymark calls for better landlord support in Wales

0:01 AM, 20th March 2024, About 2 months ago 1

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Propertymark is urging the Welsh Government to learn from Scotland’s experience with legislative changes in the private rented sector (PRS) with increased support for landlords to understand and follow new regulations.

Speaking at the Local Government and Housing Committee inquiry into Wales’s PRS, Propertymark’s Timothy Douglas said the organisation supports the right to adequate housing, but it opposes rent controls and says the Government’s focus should be on raising standards in the PRS.

There should also be efforts in boosting collaboration between landlords, letting agents and local authorities, he said.

The organisation points to a shrinking PRS in Wales and a decline in landlord investment and urges action from the government to help stem the tide.

This would see tax breaks for landlords buying additional rental properties, tax reviews to ease investment burdens and financial aid for improving energy efficiency in existing rentals.

‘PRS in Wales has undergone huge and significant change’

Mr Douglas, who is Propertymark’s head of policy and campaigns, told the inquiry: “The private rented sector in Wales has undergone huge and significant change via the Renting Homes (Wales) Act so it is now time for policymakers to reflect on the implementation of these reforms and allow time for letting agents, landlords and tenants to understand and apply the changes.

“To help meet the demand crisis for rented homes, the Welsh Government needs to understand recent tax changes that have impacted landlords and use the policy levers at their disposal by reducing higher rates of Land Transaction Tax on buy-to-let property.”

He added: “Our message is clear on rent control that it must be avoided at all costs and through introducing a Welsh Housing Survey, a more accurate picture of housing and renting in Wales can be established that can help lead to pro-growth policies and a mix of housing options that work for everyone in Wales.”

Proposing that a Welsh housing survey be undertaken

Propertymark says that data-driven policymaking is crucial and is proposing that a Welsh housing survey be undertaken to gather accurate information on the housing market.

It believes this will inform better decisions for all stakeholders.

While acknowledging the potential of build-to-rent solutions, Propertymark stresses the need for a diverse housing stock to meet the current and future needs of the nation’s population.

The organisation also cautions against relying solely on the PRS to house those who cannot afford to buy.

It also wants improvements to the Rent Smart Wales (RSW) regulatory scheme with more accountability for RSW and stricter training requirements for letting agents.

Propertymark believes mandatory qualifications for letting agents will ensure they possess the necessary skills and adhere to a Code of Practice, to help raise the bar for professionalism in the sector.

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Mick Roberts

7:03 AM, 25th March 2024, About 2 months ago

Very interesting. We should seize on this.
Teaching others to do the opposite of Scotland's example of Rent increase caps etc which Shelter supported which is now hurting tenants.

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