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Experts pour cold water on Welsh rent controls plans

rent controls

The Welsh Government should reinforce existing legislation, remove barriers to building more adequate homes and improve how it collects data instead of bringing rent controls into the housing debate, according to Propertymark.

The government’s consultation into adequate housing, fair rents and affordability posed questions about rent controls which were rejected by many respondents which, says the trade assoication, supports a widespread view that controls don’t work, with recent research showing that 95% of surveyed agents in Wales believe they would reduce supply.

This follows the Welsh Government's announcement in July last year that it was considering rent controls.

Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru told the consultation that rent control was not always seen as fair by private landlords and could result in a significant shrinking of the private rental market.

Even NUS Wales called any model of rent controls, “a sticking plaster solution…what is needed in order to fix a long-term issue is a radical, large-scale reform”.

Other groups, including the NRLA, called for the introduction of a Welsh Housing Survey to collect information on rent levels and ensure policy was developed against a solid evidence base, while Crisis said the Welsh government should consider introducing a legal requirement for all landlords to provide rent information to rent officers.

Rental data

Propertymark believes rental data could be obtained from property portal websites which can provide information on advertised rents and dates provided by large agents and landlords every quarter showing rents achieved when a property was let.

Tim Thomas (pictured) policy and campaigns officer, says given the substantial damage that rent controls have had on the private rental sector in Scotland, it would be a mistake for Wales to follow suit.

“A far more equitable solution would be to stimulate the supply of affordable homes in the private rented sector, by adopting progressive property taxation. One option open to the Welsh government would be to reduce levels of Land Transaction Tax for landlords’ properties or exempt new long-term rental properties from the 4% LTT levy on additional homes.”


Rent controls