Rent controls would critically damage private rented sector in Wales

Written by RLA

Rent controls would critically damage any prospects of growth in the private rented sector in Wales according to the country’s leading voice for landlords…

Rent controls would critically damage any prospects of growth in the private rented sector in Wales according to  Douglas Haig, Director for RLA Cymru.

Following Labour leader, Ed Miliband’s calls for the re-introduction of rent controls in England, the Residential Landlords Association is writing to all parties in the Assembly to seek assurances that they will not introduce such a policy in Wales.

The RLA argues that introducing rent controls would leave many tenants in Wales worse off given that rents across Wales are increasing by much less than inflation as measured by both CPI and RPI.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, rents in the private sector in Wales increased by just 0.6% over the past year and 3% in the five years between March 2009 and 2014.

All the evidence from the UK and overseas demonstrates that rent controls deters investment in the private rented sector and so reduces supply. This includes evidence from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) which shows that rent controls lead to greatly reduced quality and quantity of new homes.

Douglas Haig, Director for Wales for the RLA commented:

“Whilst it is good to see a debate being held on the role that the private rented sector has to play in meeting the country’s housing needs, it is vital that it is based on fact and not populism.

“All the evidence clearly shows that rent controls critically undermine investment in new homes to rent and are not needed given that official statistics show that rents are increasing by less than inflation.

“I am therefore writing to all parties in the Welsh Assembly to seek reassurances that they do not intend to adopt a similar path for Wales which would be against the interests of tenants.”

About the author



The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.


  • As a long standing member of the RLA as both a portfolio landlord and one of the founder members of private landlord directory helping landlords deal direct with tenants through the main website and it’s partner sites within social media now being the largest landlord group within that sphere in the UK here us a rational landlords view of labour proposals .

    Being one of those who self manage lets see the pros and cons .

    Fees to tenants , I don’t charge any other than a minimal credit check fee £20 and a small admin fee at the start of the tenancy £30 I can stand this as I have very little churn so won’t miss that too much
    Tenants will be a lot better off saving an average of a months rent in agency fees
    Letting agents will be screaming as the old farming expression goes ‘ like a stuck pig ‘ as they will no longer be able to soak tenants .

    Longer tenancies , brilliant any landlord who does not want tenants in for a long period is frankly barmy! About half of mine have been in longer than that anyway and landlords do not want voids where we are making nothing .
    Tenants will be happier and have a better sense of security
    Letting agents, here’s that pig coming along again! Agents love churn it makes more money in fees from both tenants AND landlords who use them.

    Rent control , I have always worked on the principle keeping the rents a little lower keeps people in reduces the voids and the turn around costs and overall maximises my profit
    Tenants once again a measure of inflation plus ….. Annual rent reviews based on a specific area is no bad thing and enables tenants to plan ahead it would be a simple add on function of the valuation office in a similar way to LHA
    Letting agents total reversal of above ,if they squeeze another hundred quid a month out of tenants then they get a greater proportion of the overall rent from the landlord using them ,so what if the tenants leave after six months it creates more churn fees from new tenants and the landlord has lost the extra money he thought he had gained because of this .

    So for the millions of self managing landlords this is not a great worry , agents will say oh but rents will go up as all the fees will be passed onto the landlords using them , great ! Yet another competitive advantage I will have.

  • Hi Simon, thanks for your comments.

    The RLA position on longer term tenancies is that the flexibility within the PRS is crucial to certain demographics. Standard AST’s can move into rolling contracts that will allow tenants to stay within properties indefinitely. In this case there is no need to make 2 1/2 year tenancies the norm unnecessary.

    The RLA supports the call for letting agent redress schemes and greater transparency in fees cost to landlords and tenants.

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