Landlords in Wales must sign up for licence to let homes

Landlords in Wales must sign up for licence to let homes

17:03 PM, 22nd May 2012, About 12 years ago 6

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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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20:45 PM, 22nd May 2012, About 12 years ago

What is wrong with the right to evict,  or rather the right to give notice which tenants should comply with but don't and then have to be evicted.
An AST gives rights to LL and tenants.
If a LL wshes to terminate the tenancy, they are perfectly entitled to do so;  if the tenant refuses to comply with the terms of the AST then the LL has little choice than to commence posession and eviction at great expense to the LL.
There is very little chance of recovery from the evicted tenant of the possession and eviction expenses.
LL face continuing issues with tenants.
Tenants should be licenced aswell as LL.

Stephen Thompson

21:49 PM, 22nd May 2012, About 12 years ago

Once again, the legislation is in favour of the tenant. If they are going to place yet another onerous burden on us (no doubt at great expense to us) why not even things up a little by abolishing the ridiculous Local Housing Allowance where the Housing Benefit is paid directly to the tenant until they accrue eight weeks arrears. Which is nothing more than a licence for them to steal the first eight weeks rent.

chris howells

22:58 PM, 22nd May 2012, About 12 years ago

licensing of properties is already a part of a landlords responsibilities , in Cardiff and Treforest . This has been in existence for a number of years. Yes it was perhaps an income generator for the wag but it also improves standards, keeps tenants in a good standard of accomodation and hopefully gets rid of the slum  landlord which give us all a bad name.
Having been a landlord for 12 years I have seen some properties tenants are asked to live in. which are well below par and some are excellent.
 I live in Cardiff and I have not heard of any extra licensing from the welsh assembly. 
In regard to rent being paid to landlord this can be done if you and your tenant agree and send in confirmation of this.
We have all had problem tenants but thats part of life.
I have done reference checks etc and have tenants that seemed good  but turned out to be rogues stripping all wallpaper off the walls and then leaving after giving false names to utility companies,  the best test is gut instinct .
with ref to AST  all you have to do is give a section 8 notice if they do not leave then it is a formality with the court as long as all the paper workid correct..
The jys of being a landlord!

Devon Landlord

8:51 AM, 23rd May 2012, About 12 years ago

It seems to me that the tone of this New Legislation bears the same hallmark of previous Labour inspired nonsensical procedures. Most sensible landlords put the tenant at the focus of their actions as s/he is the customer and they keep us in business, but if you go to Tescos and fill up a basket then try to walk out without paying you end up at the police station. Stealing time in a property without paying is theft too and needs to be treated as such. Food and shelter are basic needs but should be treated equally in law. If this legislation is to go through, then landlords should show their collective power and insist that a faster and simpler way of evicting a non-paying tenant be also introduced. What is sauce for the goose needs to be sauce for the gander too.

Nobody wants bad landlords who fail to care for their customers. I have property in Wales and look after my clients well as I abide by my Association's Code of Practice. There is no reason why, to become a Landlord, you should not be obliged to join an Association which will support and educate you to improve your business practice if that is what you need. There is no need for new legislation and if there is it should be balanced to support equally both sides of the Contract. After all, the AST is a contract, but it is too easily flouted. Perhaps the focus of new legislation should be to strengthen the powers and obligations on all parties signing up to the AST. This would enable poor landlords to be assisted to improve their methods and also compel tenants to abide by the letter of the law which currently they can flout so easily.

Michael Holmes

11:23 AM, 23rd May 2012, About 12 years ago

I can't add much more to the debate, the fact is, left leaning organisations always try and dress up their prejudices in terms of helping the poor and downtrodden while what they are really about is extending the power of the state to interfer in what are really private arrangements between consenting parties.  It took Maggie Thatcher  to revive the private rented sector after 20 years of stagnation during the sixties and seventies.  The assured shorthold tenancy ws the catalyst for a complete change in the PRS and ever since, Governments of all pursuasions have been tinkering with it in order to "improve" it.  The latest manifestation, HMO licenses are just the foot in the door,soon everybody will have to be licensed, so don't be surprised at a mass exodus from the PRS in the next few years.  Of course,the clamour for more rented accommodation will mean the state sector will have to step in to "save" the situation.  The whole merrygoround will start again.

In the immortal words of Littlejohn, 'you couldn't make it up'  

12:58 PM, 23rd May 2012, About 12 years ago

As an accedited landlord I wish the authorities would stop adding to my problems simply to raise revenue and create (At my expense) extra employment.  I look forward to one day seeing a proposal by the government that will make my life easier and improve my bottom line!  Lets get rid of EPCs (No tenants look at them), get rid of the deposit scheme (It was always illegal for landlords to steal from tenants by failing to repay deposits) and forget registration (Just put in place some minimum standards for housing and enforce them) and lets return to paying LHA directly to landlords rather than allowing tenants to misappropriate council funds (Councils should recover these from other benefits on behalf of landlords!).  Finally can we improve the repossession system - 2 months notice plus a month for the courts plus a month for the bailifs = 4 months free living for the tenant - this not good enough.

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