ARLA Propertymark is warning politicians fighting elections this spring that rent controls should be firmly off the agenda.
The organisation traditionally sets out its demands ahead of election campaigning, and its first set has come out in relation to Welsh elections in May - although many of the policies it refers to apply elsewhere, too, including English local elections and the Mayoral fight in London.
Specifically, ARLA says current ministers must ensure the supply of housing meets demand as much as possible - which means resisting rent controls which have a direct impact on supply and a negative impact on housing quality.
“The [Welsh] Government should commit to a significant programme of building social housing to ensure that renting is more affordable and secure for renters in all tenures” explains ARLA.
It also want parties to avoid a one-size fits all approach to improving energy efficiency, and instead take a holistic approach with proposals for the different age, condition, and size of properties across all tenures. Similarly, it adds, the sector should be supported by funding like the UK Government’s Green Home Grant scheme, giving up to £5,000 in vouchers for energy improvements.
ARLA also wants politicians to commit to a review of the Local Housing Allowance to bring it in line with average local rents.
“The first payment of Universal Credit should be separated and issued as a non-repayable loan, taking pressure off both the tenant and landlord and saving time. The Government should give tenants the choice of having the LHA element paid directly to the landlord or the agent. This will mean those renting properties will have greater confidence when making offers to tenants claiming this benefit” explains the association.