Industry News Steven Bletsoe 18/12/2023

Confidence growing in Wales as new year approaches

Operations manager for Wales Steve Bletsoe looks back on an eventful year for the Welsh private rented sector, and looks ahead to 2024. 

As the curtain falls on 2023 we look back on an extremely tumultuous 12 months in the Private Rental Sector (PRS) in Wales. A year of converting contracts, additional responsibilities over the fitness for human habitation and consultations on additional controls of the PRS through the partnership agreement between the Labour Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru. 

A year that has seen landlords - and their properties - leave the PRS and landlord confidence eroded by those who control legislation. 

The role of a PRS landlord in Wales is a complex one, with laws coming from both Westminster and Cardiff Bay in a seemingly neverending stream of legislation that penalises those good landlords who are looking to provide high quality and affordable properties to good tenants. 

Whilst Plaid Cymru seem determined to ignore the damage that imposing legislated control of rent in Wales would do to the sector, the detailed research and submissions from the NRLA have made a difference to those in Government, as evidenced in their recent statements in the Senedd.   

Confidence amongst landlords in Wales over the last year has been the lowest of any part of the United Kingdom for as long as we have been collecting and documenting the data in our landlord satisfaction survey.

However there are signs confidence may be returning, albeit from this historic and sustained low, as we have navigated the complexities of implementation of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act and are seeing a public 'softening' of the messages around rent controls from the Welsh Labour Government. 

Confidence among Welsh landlords is now higher than that recorded among landlords in England, where the Renters (Reform) Bill is still on the horizon. 

So, as we look forward to 2024, there are positives we can take; we are through the implementation of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act and we at the NRLA will continue to fight your corner in both Westminster and Cardiff Bay to create a robust and vibrant PRS

During 2024, we, as your landlords voice, will continue lobbying on reforming Section 24 in Westminster and Land Transaction Tax in Cardiff Bay to create a more progressive taxation landscape in the PRS as well as continuing to campaign for a full Welsh Housing Survey. We will continue to make detailed and factual representations in relation to the ongoing consultation on Fair Rents and a Right to Adequate Housing as the Welsh Government moves towards the production of their White Paper.  

So far 2024 certainly looks more positive than 2023 and - who knows - with a new First Minister in place, we may be able to achieve even greater things in Wales. 

Steven Bletsoe

Steven Bletsoe Operations Manager for Wales

Steven Bletsoe is the Operations Manager for Wales, joining the NRLA in February 2022. Steven has a long history of working in the property industry, running his own property location company working for residential sales and property investment landlords around the United Kingdom. He also has vast political experience after working in the Welsh Parliament as a Case Worker in the South Wales Central region and is elected as a Councillor in his hometown of Bridgend.

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