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Make the private rented sector work for Wales

Plaid Cymru urges action to make rents affordable and drive up standards

The number of people in Wales renting their homes is increasing year on year but poor standards and rising rents are in danger of causing irreversible damage to Welsh communities, Plaid Cymru’s Housing spokesperson Jocelyn Davies warned. Whilst traditionally renting was a choice for people who couldn’t afford to buy, the widening gap between low wages and high rents has driven more and more people into rented accommodation. Ahead of the publication of the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill, the Former Housing Minister urged the Welsh Government to take action to stop the spiralling cost of rent, tackle poor standards, and stop bad behaviour by dodgy landlords.

Welsh rent prices rose by 2% in 2014, continuing the upward trend, while experts predict that if the private rented sector continues to grow at its current rate, an additional 50,000 households in Wales will be renting privately by the time of the next Census.

Plaid Cymru has called for a progressive deal, whereby landlords can help reduce the housing benefit bill by delivering proportional rents through rent caps.

Plaid Cymru’s Housing spokesperson Jocelyn Davies said:

"Sky-high rents are hugely damaging for every one of us. They drive up the housing benefit bill, they destroy our communities, and they rob people of any hope to own their own house. The Welsh Government has an opportunity in the Renting Homes Bill to push for real reform to make the sector work for everyone.

"I want to see a new deal for landlords and tenants to see how we can work together to ensure proportional rent, greater stability in our communities, and deliver comfortable, safe homes for everyone.

"Rocketing rent levels can transform communities, driving people out through artificially increased prices. We need to act before irreversible damage is done."