The NRLA has urged the Welsh government to ditch rent control proposals as the worst possible idea for a PRS facing a chronic supply and demand crisis.
Its response to the government’s Fair Rents & Adequate Housing consultation argues that any move to introduce rent controls would have a disastrous impact, with evidence suggesting they can stifle investment and even force overall rents up.
It says landlords are already wrestling with extensive changes under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act – with new deadlines later this year – and that they would benefit from time for these changes to bed in before new rules around letting are introduced.
According to the NRLA, the Act’s implementation has damaged landlord confidence, as evidenced by the high level of possessions that took place in the first quarter of the year – a 253% rise in accelerated possession claims year-on-year.
The government’s consultation explores four potential rent control measures including a ceiling or freeze, limiting annual rent rises to pre-agreed percentages and only allowing rent rises when a tenant moves out and the property is advertised afresh.
Welsh landlords could also face rent restrictions based on limits to yield using a formula, and a ‘costs plus’ model.
Instead, the NRLA suggests looking at ways to support tenants to pay market rents along with a Welsh Housing Survey to collect data from across the housing sector.
Chief executive Ben Beadle (pictured) reckons it’s difficult to think of any policy measure likely to worsen the current situation more than rent controls.
He says: “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.”