17:03 PM, 22nd May 2012, About 10 years ago 6
Thousands of buy to let and shared house landlords in Wales will have to sign up to a register before they can privately rent a home.
The proposal was part of a housing white paper launched by the labour-controlled Welsh Assembly. The new law will mean private landlords will have to prove they are a ‘fit and proper’ person to let homes.
The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) claims the accreditation scheme will protect private tenants from poor or exploitative landlords.
Housing minister Huw Lewis said: “This is about much more than putting a roof over someone’s head. Housing issues affects people’s health and wellbeing and their ability to find and keep a job.
“For children, it is the foundation for the rest of their lives. Housing is fundamental to delivering many of our goals as a progressive government.
“This paper reflects our strong commitment to equality and social justice and our desire to do all we can to help people to meet their housing needs. We will be ambitious, innovative and collaborative to deliver real change to help reduce poverty, tackle the inequalities that exist between some of our communities, increase skills and jobs, tackle climate change and help improve health and well-being.”
The paper confirms landlords and letting agents will have to follow a code of practice after gaining accreditation.
“Some people have to endure poor conditions, insecurity and, sometimes, threats of eviction,” said the white paper.
“The latter, combined with the lack of other options, means that many people, often vulnerable people, put up with the questionable practices of some landlords and lettings and management agents.”
“Accreditation will secure full registration status, which is effectively a licence to operate as a private landlord in Wales.”
“Failure to do so could result in penalties or other sanctions, proportionate to the failings in compliance. Codes of practice will be developed for landlords and agents.”
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