The Housing (Wales) Bill has recently been introduced as a forthcoming change to legislation. The Act reaffirms the Welsh Government’s commitment to ensuring that all landlords and letting agents become licensed by their relevant local authorities.
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Despite the seemingly positive announcement, the CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Richard Lambert, was disappointed with certain aspects of the plans. Lambert stated: “While it comes as no surprise that the Welsh Government wishes to register all private landlords, it is deeply disappointing that the plans appear mired in burdensome bureaucracy. The requirements outlined in the Housing (Wales) Bill requires landlords to not only register, but to subsequently obtain a licence from what could be numerous local authorities, each of which may stipulate its own conditions and fees.”
Mr Lambert also feels that it is “unnecessary,” and “unhelpful” that private landlords are permitted to “submit details of their investments to a public register in the name of driving improvements and rooting out criminals.”
He argues: “Far from combatting criminality within the private rented sector and offering solutions to the undersupply of residential property, these measures look certain to increase the cost of providing homes by forcing landlords to comply with yet more red-tape.”
Despite saying that “the NLA shares the Welsh Government’s desire to raise standards in the private rented sector,” Lambert is “unconvinced that a national register of landlords is the right approach.”
Instead, he believes that this “will only serve to increase the cost of living for many hard working families as the fee for registering and subsequently obtaining a license will inevitably be passed on to tenants.”