Welsh Conservative warns: “Nightmare legislation” driving good landlords away

Welsh Conservative warns: “Nightmare legislation” driving good landlords away

9:57 AM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago 12

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A wave of “nightmare legislation” is driving many good landlords out of the rental sector in Wales, warns Welsh Conservative MS Janet Finch-Saunders.

She warns without urgent action, tenants will be forced to live in temporary accommodation.

Ms Finch-Saunders is urging the Welsh government to rethink policies and provide much-needed support for landlords.

A lot of good landlords are leaving the sector

Ms Finch-Saunders tells Property118 that the legislation introduced by the government has proved to be confusing for many landlords.

She explains the government introduced Rent Smart Wales to help landlords deal with legislation from the Renting Homes Wales Act.

She said: “Rent Smart Wales is the name of the agency run by Cardiff Council to technically support landlords but it’s having a very negative effect.

“For a lot of landlords, the Renting Homes Wales Act has been a nightmare. In the latest additions to the legislation, landlords need to give six months’ notice to quit instead of the previous two months.

“Even with the old notice period, eviction could take up to six months due to court proceedings. This is a nightmare for landlords as the tenant could be not paying the rent or damaging the property.”

Ms Finch-Saunders says these “unfair rules” for landlords are causing many to leave the sector.

She said: “A lot of good landlords are just leaving the sector because they see it as something that overburdens them and as something which is too much risk now.

“At the end of the day, you could have someone living in a property not paying rent for a year, but you are having to pay a mortgage which is not fair.”

“The Welsh government need to acknowledge that the Renting Homes Wales Act isn’t working and need to update it with measures to make it easier for landlords to continue to rent out their properties.”

Temporary accommodation crisis

Ms Finch-Saunders warns that for every landlord that leaves the sector, many tenants could be placed in temporary accommodation where the costs are untenable.

She explains: “Rather than allow a good landlord to hold onto tenants and have the rent paid and mechanisms in place to ensure that happens many landlords are just fed up and throwing in the towel.

“What’s happening now is that every landlord that leaves those tenants potentially could end up in hotels.

“The cost of that is incredible. It costs £100 per adult and £76 per child you work that out times seven days a week. It’s untenable and not sustainable.”

Ms Finch-Saunders says in her constituency of Aberconwy, many children and adults are being affected by the temporary accommodation crisis.

She said: “It’s affecting our tourism industry in Aberconwy. It’s also affecting the well-being and health of children and their parents it’s just not a good look at the moment.”

Empty homes are part of the solution

Ms Finch-Saunders explains the Welsh government need to look at the solution of empty homes rather than second homes.

She says: “Empty homes have always been part of the solution. The Welsh government seems to have gone down the road of targeting second homeowners with ridiculous council tax premiums.

“Most of these homes won’t enter the rental market; instead, they’re being bought for Airbnb use. The current methodology in Wales has failed, with as many empty homes as second homes.

“In Aberconwy alone, there are about 2,000 empty homes that could be refurbished into quality housing for people in need.”

Rent controls proven not to work in Scotland

The Welsh government recently did a consultation on whether rent controls should be introduced.

Ms Finch-Saunders argues the introduction of rent controls is not the solution and the government should focus on building more affordable homes.

She said: “They’ve been proven not to work in Scotland and if introduced in Wales there will be fewer properties available, leading to significantly higher rents.

“It’s normally down to demand and supply but the big issue for Wales is that the Welsh government for 26 years have failed miserably to build the right number of houses.

“Last September was the lowest quarter ever and built less than half their target.”

“There are small developments of houses being built in my constituency they just built 49 houses and the cheapest is £395,000 – that’s not what we need. We need rented social homes and we need a lot of them across Wales to solve the housing crisis.”

Landlords feel deflated and demoralised

Ms Finch-Saunders explains some of the language used against landlords is unfair and the Welsh government should listen to landlords more.

She explains many landlords are leaving the sector: “The language and tone that I’ve heard used against landlords in the Senedd has been shocking at times.

“We’ve got many good landlords in Wales but they just feel deflated and demoralised and they just realise it’s not worth being a private landlord anymore.”

She adds: “We need the Renting Homes Wales Act reviewing and making it more feasible for landlords to stay in the sector.

“There have been rogue landlords but there are still a significant number of good landlords in the system but they do need listening to by the Welsh government.

“The usual message from Ministers is ‘if you are a tenant we will look after you’ That same strong message should be for landlords as well.”

Watch the video below to find out how Janet Finch-Saunders entered politics and what she thinks of the future of the private rented sector in Wales.  


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Comments

Fed Up Landlord

10:26 AM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

It's not just Welsh LLs who feel demoralised and demonised.

Perhaps she should have a word with Michael Grovel or Rishi Washi on how landlords feel in England as well.

TheMaluka

11:26 AM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Janet Finch-Saunders has voiced what landlords have been saying for many years but I fear her words have come too late for many. Landlords who have exited the sector will not return and the temporary accommodation problem will endure for many years to come.

TJP

12:02 PM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

At last a politician with some common sense.

Dylan Morris

12:43 PM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Landlords will feel even more demoralised when Making Tax Digital comes in and they have to submit a tax return every three months !!

dismayed landlord

12:43 PM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by TJP at 26/04/2024 - 12:02
Yes but I fear far too late.

dismayed landlord

12:45 PM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by TheMaluka at 26/04/2024 - 11:26
Yes well voiced. I am almost out completely and will never return.

Cider Drinker

12:58 PM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

The problem (housing crisis) isn’t caused by landlords, tenants, councils.

It is caused by us having too many people in the U.K.

Too many people (in the U.K.) is firmly the fault of a government that doesn’t care for the U.K.

Dylan Morris

13:06 PM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Cider Drinker at 26/04/2024 - 12:58Our Government and all the others are just following orders it’s the (unelected) WEF plan for the World. No borders no nations.

Alun Thomas

13:25 PM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 26/04/2024 - 13:06
Got it in one Dylan! And your previous comment re Making Tax Digital will be the final nail!!

Cider Drinker

14:54 PM, 26th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Landlords are most certainly becoming disillusioned with the unfair tax system and vindictive legislation.

However, regardless of how the ‘housing tenure’ is sliced, the cake isn’t large enough to feed all of the country’s growing population.

If every property was commandeered and turned over to Social Housing, there would not be one single additional property.

If every home was bought by owner-occupiers, there still would not be sufficient homes for every person that needs one.

We need a bigger cake or fewer people or a bit of both.

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