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Time for a fairer private rented sector, say Welsh landlords

Today, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) Wales have released their manifesto for the forthcoming election, explaining that only when the private rented sector (PRS) is regarded as part of the solution to the housing crisis can landlords and tenants prosper.

The representative body has six key calls for parties standing in the 2021 Welsh Parliament elections: streamline licensing; support landlords and tenants; improve homes; introduce a Welsh Housing Survey; improve justice for landlords and tenants; and, rejecting rent controls and Right-to-Rent.

To achieve these objectives, the NRLA is advocating measures such as eliminating the need for local licensing by adopting requirements in national frameworks, introducing a housing court, and removing the second property Land Transaction Tax premium to encourage empty home purchases.

The NRLA argues that some of the proposals such as deposit passporting (which allows tenants to move deposits to new properties without needing to raise a second) and a Welsh Housing Survey are needed to prevent Wales falling behind new reforms and long-standing provisions in England.

Other areas the manifesto focuses on are grants and loans to improve energy efficiency and end fuel poverty for private tenants, using council tax more holistically to tackle empty homes, and ensuring the UK Government’s Right-to-Rent scheme is not applied in the devolved nations.

Commenting, Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, said:

“We’re very pleased to launch our Welsh manifesto ahead of next Spring’s Senedd election. This provides an opportunity for all parties to build a private rented sector fair to both landlords and tenants.

“Our proposals will improve the rights of tenants and landlords demonstrating it is perfectly possible to do both, rather than sacrificing one for the other.

“This principle is evident in our calls for a housing court, a Welsh Housing Survey, rejecting Right-to-Rent, and stronger measures against anti-social behaviour.

“Our flagship priority is to streamline licensing in Wales, ending inefficient and expensive local schemes by incorporating standards into new, national frameworks.

“After four pieces of legislation in six years, the PRS can really use a break from large-scale change and use some assistance in meeting shared goals to the benefit of both landlord and tenant. Our manifesto achieves that.”