Rent controls in Wales loom as political alliance is unveiled

Expected Labour and Plaid Cymru agreement will see joint approach to getting new legislation through Senedd including rent caps and regulation of second homes.

welsh rent controls

Lettings agents in Wales face the growing likelihood of rent controls being introduced within the country’s borders.

The revelation follows an expected announcement this week jointly by the Welsh Labour government and nationalist party Plaid Cymru that it is to enter into a loose political alliance.

This will see the two parties work together jointly on a range of issues following talks this summer on areas of mutually-beneficial join cooperation, including rent controls.

These will take the form of a rent cap, Labour has said previously, preventing rents from being raised more than inflation each year.

Other policy areas where the two parties are to cooperate include greater regulations for the holiday and second homes market but also free childcare, free school meals for all primary school pupils, the creation of a national care service and replacing council tax.

When voting on these policy areas, Labour’s deal with the nationalists, which does not go as far as a full-blown coalition, will give First Minister Mark Drakeford huge leverage to push through legislation that otherwise might have floundered.

Working majority

Although Labour is the largest party within the Welsh parliament, it does not have a working majority, a problem that the Plaid Cymru deal helps solve.

The NRLA has been campaigning hard to head off the rent controls proposals, activity that pre-dates the political alliance.

“Evidence from across the world shows rent controls do not work,” it says.

“They make it harder for renters to find an affordable home, encourage rent rises, see housing conditions deteriorate and can lead to a reduction in the overall number of homes to let as landlords leave the market.

“We would encourage the Welsh Government to resist any moves to introduce them.”

Industry figure Russell Quirk, writing in response, added:The consequence will be a future shortage of rental homes as landlords exit the sector for a better asset”.

The deal, assuming it is voted through by Plaid Cymru members, will come into force on December 1st and run for three years.

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