Shadow Housing Minister backs NRLA calls on Rent Smart Wales

Shadow Housing Minister backs NRLA calls on Rent Smart Wales

9:11 AM, 16th August 2022, About 2 years ago 3

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The Welsh Shadow Minister for Housing, Janet Finch-Saunders, has backed the NRLA’s calls to improve Rent Smart Wales (RSW) for landlords and tenants.

The MS for Aberconwy agrees with the NRLA that Rent Smart Wales should:

  • Publish annual performance statistics that help give a clearer picture of how it is performing and inform policy-making more widely
  • Establish a new board compromising of figures from across the sector, including tenant and landlord bodies, to have oversight of the work of RSW and the power to prepare reports and make recommendations to the Welsh government
  • Ensure that RSW is subject to an independent final evaluation by Audit Wales to establish if it is meeting its objectives and delivering value for money.

RSW is not ‘delivering for the rental sector’

Ms Finch-Saunders raised concerns that the RSW is not ‘delivering for the rental sector’.

She said: “It is clear to me from speaking to tenants and landlords that RSW is not delivering for the rental sector.

“In fact, even today, RSW is reporting that they are currently unable to provide a telephone service and that such a situation may be the case for some time.”

She added: “I agree with the National Residential Landlords Association that the Welsh Government should make a number of changes to ensure that RSW works for both tenants and the majority of good, responsible landlords in Wales who adhere to their legal duties.”

White Paper on improving renting in Wales

The NRLA published its White Paper on improving renting in Wales earlier this year.

The organisation has been engaging with stakeholders across the PRS to raise support on ‘key asks’. These include:

  • Improving the LHA rates and boosting supply to meet demand
  • Committing to allowing the Renting Homes (Wales) Act to be properly and fully implemented before embarking on a further round of changes to the sector
  • Providing more financial support to landlords to help with energy efficiency improvements
  • Improving the performance of Rent Smart Wales
  • Exempting landlord from the Land Transaction Levy where they are bringing a new property into the PRS, boosting the supply of properties for long term rent
  • Introducing a Welsh Housing Survey to improve data on housing in Wales.

‘Our proposals for Rent Smart Wales’

Josh Lovell, the NRLA’s policy officer (Wales), said: “We welcome the support of the Shadow Minister for Housing for our proposals for Rent Smart Wales, and we will continue to look to build a consensus for all of our proposed changes in Wales.”

The NRLA’s shadow white paper that details the reforms that are needed can be found on their website.

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Monty Bodkin

11:00 AM, 16th August 2022, About 2 years ago

What did they think would happen from bashing good landlords?
"The average rental price for properties in Wales has increased more than any other area in the UK aside from London
Wales saw the greatest annual rise in rental prices outside of London which was up 13.9%"

Luke P

11:58 AM, 16th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Why do I get the feeling that they're not happy that an easy, relatively cheap system isn't 'rooting out' that 'bad' LLs??

It's like there aren't as many as they expected/hoped...

Paul Essex

20:19 PM, 16th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Don't forget that the average is being pushed up by the disappearance of low rent houses and not just rent increases.
This distinction is being glossed over by reporters as it doesn't fit their 'landlord greed' agenda.

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