Rent controls in Wales will worsen housing crisis warns NRLA

Rent controls in Wales will worsen housing crisis warns NRLA

0:02 AM, 20th September 2023, About 9 months ago 1

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One association is warning that introducing rent controls in Wales will have a ‘disastrous impact on the private rented sector.’

The NRLA has responded to the Welsh government’s Fair Rents & Adequate Housing consultation deadline explaining how rent controls influence landlord behaviour and stifle housing supply.

The consultation period ended on the 15th of September and the responses will inform the development of a White Paper consultation next year.

Imposing rent control measures

The consultation 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 asked tenants if they believe that rent controls are needed in Wales.

Not the time for failed ideologies to be pursued

Commenting on the consultation response, Ben Beadle, chief executive at the NRLA, said: “With a chronic supply and demand crisis engulfing the Welsh PRS, it’s difficult to think of any policy measure likely to worsen the current situation more than rent controls.

“Wherever they have been applied, interventions of this kind have served only to deter, rather than encourage, investment.

Mr Beadle says the Welsh government needs to address the lack of supply and high demand for housing in Wales.

He said: “If the Welsh government is serious about addressing high rents and a lack of supply, it must take tangible steps to increase housing supply. A good place to start would be to back our calls for pro-growth measures to encourage investment in homes to rent.

“Now is not the time for failed ideologies to be pursued. We need progressive policies which will allow private landlords to deliver the high-quality private rented accommodation tenants need.”

Tsunami of landlords leaving the private rental sector

Welsh MS Janet Finch-Saunders has criticised the Welsh government for wanting to introduce rent controls.

She said: “Wales is in the midst of a housing crisis.  According to the latest data, there are 10,869 individuals in temporary accommodation, 3,346 of whom are dependent children.

“I want a Wales where people can find affordable homes to buy or rent, not a Wales where families are forced into bed and breakfasts and hotels.

“My vision can only be achieved if we increase supply.

Ms Finch-Saunders says Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru need to stop villainising the private rented sector.

“The evidence is clear that the Welsh Government is only achieving 50% of the house building targets, and has introduced legislation that is resulting in a tsunami of landlords leaving the private rental sector.

“It has been made abundantly clear to Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru that rent controls would compound the housing crisis, but they are not listening.

“The Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru cooperative Welsh Government is creating a false façade that they are addressing the housing crisis by making landlords and second homeowners villains. I do not agree and am proud to be leading the opposition to these disastrous policies in the Senedd.

She added: “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.

“Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru should stop villainising the private rental sector, and start working with stakeholders so to boost housing supply in Wales”.


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Comments

Andrew Morris

13:51 PM, 16th March 2024, About 3 months ago

I participated in the Welsh consultation. Not one question about how the landlord would afford the rent cap and continue to exists, or if they might sell up. I do remember questions about the rent cap and the Welsh language though. The questions served only to make clear how little they understand the problem, a problem they actually make worse through ignorance. The real problem is lack of property. They should be encouraging investment.

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