The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has cautioned the Welsh Government about the urgent need for support within the rental housing sector. The association stressed that this aid is critical for providing the much-needed rental homes across the country.
A primary concern raised by the NRLA is the lack of reliable data accessible to Welsh policymakers. They urge that this information deficit must be addressed before implementing new housing regulations.
Previous plans to introduce rent freeze caps provoked strong backlash, with NRLA CEO Ben Beadle predicting that such measures would “decimate” the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and would prove to be a “disaster.”
In a new paper, the NRLA suggested that the government should create a Welsh Housing Survey, or consistently publish equivalent data found in the English Housing Survey. They also recommended that local housing allowance rates should be unfrozen and purchases of additional homes for long-term rentals should be exempt from the 4% land transaction tax levy.
Bemoaning the current state of affairs, the NRLA stated, “Given the significance of the sector, and the recent, fundamental changes proposed or implemented in housing and planning policy, it is disheartening that robust and up-to-date evidence is still lacking.” The association maintained that it is crucial to adopt these measures to ensure the PRS can continue supplying essential homes to households in Wales.
Minister Julie James defended the proposal for a rent freeze or cap, citing that rental costs in Wales have surged by over 16% in some regions. “In the grips of a cost of living crisis, I know there is more we can do,” she declared.
According to the NRLA, the PRS in Wales has become the second-largest ‘mainstream housing tenure’ in the past two decades, with nearly 17% of Welsh households renting their homes from private landlords.