The Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru has joined forces with six partner organisations to assert our support for the proposed national and mandatory registration and licensing scheme, to better regulate private landlords, letting and management agents in Wales.
"In an open letter to the Western Mail we have said that the proposal for a low cost, easy to access registration process for landlords, coupled with a licensing regime for the managing landlord, agent or responsible person, will help to drive forward a sector that is providing homes for an increasing number of people in Wales."
Julie Nicholas, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at CHI Cymru said:
“We believe this is an exciting opportunity to ensure the Welsh private rented sector is fit for purpose, encourages inclusive partnership working and improves outcomes for tenants and landlords. We are committed to supporting and building knowledge and understanding and growing a healthy Welsh sector.”
“There is no question that the private rented sector is a key part of the housing supply solution, the provision of private rented housing in Wales is now almost equal to the level of social housing. As such it is important to ensure that the increasing number of Welsh families who are privately renting their homes are living in well-managed and safe properties.”
A copy of the letter is below:
Re: The private rented sector in Wales
We the undersigned are writing to state our support for the Welsh Government proposal to introduce a national and mandatory registration and licensing scheme, to better regulate private landlords, letting and management agents.
The proposal for a low cost, easy to access registration process for landlords, coupled with a licensing regime for the managing landlord, agent or responsible person, will help to drive forward a sector that is providing homes for an increasing number of people in Wales. The proposal provides a clear signal that the Welsh Government is determined to improve standards, build capacity and tackle management issues in the private rented sector effectively.
Research shows that the private rented sector (PRS) is a tenure of extremes, with disproportionate levels of disrepair, whose tenants are overrepresented amongst those seeking housing advice services, with an almost non-existent tenant involvement movement. Vulnerable households are over-represented in the private rented sector, whilst the cost of private renting to the public purse is considerable, with all rental subsidies costing £9.3 billion per annum.
Raising standards and growing the private rented sector are not mutually exclusive goals; we support the need to promote a positive public image of the private rented sector as a tenure of choice in Wales, and for local authorities to improve engagement with landlords to help build relationships and local capacity.
We believe a national private landlord register, and licensing scheme for managers, will help to target rogue landlords, develop partnerships and improve consumer rights. We believe this scheme will improve services and participation for tenants and help to provide more decent homes for Wales. The proposal, properly resourced, will be integral to the success of other legislation, including changes to homelessness regulations and tenancy law.
We believe the proposals are timely and right; we urge assembly members to support the introduction of a national and mandatory registration and licensing scheme for private rented sector landlords and agents, as the Housing (Wales) Bill progresses through the Senedd in 2014.
Julie Nicholas, Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru
Jennie Bibbings, Shelter Cymru
Steve Clarke, Welsh Tenants
Nina Langrish, TPAS Cymru
Nick Bennett, Community Housing Cymru Group
Alicja Zalesinska, Tai Pawb
Auriol Miller, Cymorth Cymru
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