INFORMATION TO ALL LANDLORDS

Rent Smart Wales are running a free online course on “Equality & Diversity”.  Anyone interested in doing this course or to find out more information please log onto www.rentsmart.gov.wales Share...
RLA attend Welsh Labour party conference: the highlights

RLA attend Welsh Labour party conference: the highlights

Article written by Tim Thomas of the RLA dated April 15th 2019 RLA Wales attended the Welsh Labour Conference in Venue Cymru in Llandudno over the weekend. It was a busy weekend, in which Welsh Labour announced plans to axe Section 21. Soon after this announcement, our Vice Chair Douglas Haig (pictured centre) met with First Minister Mark Drakeford AM (pictured right main picture) to find out more about the proposal. Here, RLA Policy Officer Tim Thomas blogs about the weekend at the conference, including an important announcement the First Minister made at the conference for private landlords in Wales. RLA Wales attended the Welsh Labour party conference at the weekend. As part of our presence, we had an exhibition stand with the opportunity for members attending the conference to engage with us and to take part in a quiz. The quiz highlighted many misconceptions about the PRS including the fact that repossessions are actually higher in the social sector than the PRS, average rents have only gone up by 0.9% and well below inflation, on average tenancies last for 3.9 years and that satisfaction levels are higher in the PRS than the social sector in Wales. The quiz also highlighted some of the work we had done in improving equalities within the sector with joint work with Tai Pawb with our Open Doors project. Members of the Welsh Labour Party took part in the quiz, but also a number of senior elected politicians took the opportunity to test their knowledge on the sector. This included engagement with: Ann Jones AM, Assembly Member for the Vale of Clwyd, Deputy...
Wales fee ban to come into force this September

Wales fee ban to come into force this September

Article supplied by Victoria Barker of the RLA dated 8th April 2019 The Welsh Housing Minister Julie James AM has announced that the tenant fee ban will come into force in Wales on 1st September 2019, subject to it receiving Royal Assent. The Renting Homes (Fees etc) (Wales) Bill was debated for a final time in the plenary last month. It is currently awaiting Royal Assent, after which it will become an Act. Which fees will be banned? The legislation will make it illegal for letting agents and landlords in Wales to charge anything other than permitted payments, which are rent, security deposits, holding deposits, utilities, communication services, council tax, green deal charges and default fees. All other payments are classed as being ‘default’ payments, and will be banned under the legislation. RLA campaigning The RLA has been very active in the progression of this Bill, ever since it was formally introduced ny the Welsh Government last year. During the early stages of the Bill,  the RLA’s Director for Wales, Douglas Haig, gave evidence on the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill to the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee, in the Senedd. As well as making a formal response to a consultation on the Bill, The RLA has also met with several AMs to discuss the details of the Bill, and earlier this year, ahead of the stage three debate of the Bill, the RLA encouraged members to write to their AMs about the amendments to the bill. You can read a timeline of the RLA’s involvement in the progression of the Bill here. The announcement comes less than two months until the...
Landlords in Wales reminded notify water providers of tenancy changes to avoid costs

Landlords in Wales reminded notify water providers of tenancy changes to avoid costs

Article Written by Victoria Barker for the RLA dated 14th February 2019 Landlords in Wales are being reminded that they must inform their water provider of any tenancy changes within 21 days of the change, specifically full name, address, date of birth and the occupation date of all responsible tenants. The reminder is being made by Hafren Dyfrdwy, the new water company formed from the coming together of Dee Valley Water and Severn Trent. It is urging landlords to be mindful of the Water Industry (Undertakers Wholly or Mainly in Wales) Non-Owner Occupier Regulations 2014. These were introduced by the Welsh Assembly Government in 2015. Failure to provide this information may result in Hafren Dyfrdwy exercising their entitlement under the regulations to hold landlords responsible for charges. Learn more If you are a landlord in Wales, the RLA run Rent Smart Wales training courses. There is a course for landlords and a course for agents. Keep up to date with the latest news affecting landlords in Wales on the RLA Wales website here. Share...
Fitness for Human Habitation in Wales-update

Fitness for Human Habitation in Wales-update

Article Written by Victoria Barker supplied by the RLA dated February 12th 2019 The Fitness for Human Habitation Act will come into force on 20th March, and it will require all landlords (or agents acting on their behalf) in England to ensure their property is fit for human habitation at the beginning and throughout the tenancy. If it is not, the Act gives tenants the power to take landlords to court, for breach of contract. The Housing Health and Safety System (HHSRS) (currently under review) will be used to assess whether homes meet the criteria. We have produced a guide for landlords in England on this Act. While it is still important that ALL home are fit for human habitation, the changes the new Act makes do not apply to Wales. This is because this element comes under Section 91 of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 is currently still being consulted, with the previous Welsh Housing Minister Rebecca Evans AM confirming at our Future Renting Wales, that documents relating to the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will be made available six months before it is enacted,to give landlords the chance to prepare. While no confirmation has been set for this, it is expected to come in no earlier than 2020. Landlord’s obligation: fitness for human habitation (1)The landlord under a secure contract, a periodic standard contract or a fixed term standard contract made for a term of less than seven years must ensure that the dwelling is fit for human habitation. This applies on the occupation date of the contract, and also for the duration of the contract. (2) The reference in...

ALSO DISCUSSED AT THE FORUM HELD ON MONDAY 28TH JANUARY 2019 –

Are you a Landlord who could help with our Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme?   In September 2015, the UK Government announced that over the next 5 years, up to 20,000 Syrians in need of protection would be accepted into the UK.  In July 2017 the scheme was expanded to include other refugees who have fled the conflict in Syria but whom do not have Syrian nationality. Caerphilly County Borough Council was one of the first local authorities in Wales to accept families under this scheme, and we are currently working with a number of landlords who support the Caerphilly Private Landlord Forum who are assisting us with housing a number of families as part of this scheme.  However, the Council is currently looking for even more suitable properties to lease from private landlords to house families supported within this project. The Home Office provides funding for all individuals resettled within the scheme.  All families resettled receive a support service commissioned by CCBC, regular visits by our partner managing agent will ensure your accommodation is kept in good condition throughout the period of the tenancy, rent will be paid to you by BACS transfer. More than 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives in the last 5 years of conflict . More than 11 million others have been forced from their homes.  More than 4.5 million people have fled Syria.  These families are ordinary people who live ordinary lives but have been touched by brutal events.  If you are a landlord with a vacant property who maybe able to help and meet the criteria then why not call for more...
EIGHT things landlords can do now to prepare their property for winter weather

EIGHT things landlords can do now to prepare their property for winter weather

Written by Victoria Barker of the RLA – 23rd October 2018 It has been an unusually warm October, but that looks set to change this weekend with the Met Office reporting that temperatures will dip to single figures this weekend. With cool Arctic air on its way and the clocks going back next weekend marking the end of British Summer Time, now is a good time to start thinking about making sure your home is prepared for the winter weather. While snow flurries may not be imminent just yet, making sure you are prepared now could save you money in the long run on expensive repair work, so it is recommended that you inspect the property. Here are EIGHT top tips to get you started. Talk to your tenants With cooler weather  on its way, ask your tenants if they are having problems with or have noticed anything the could be cause for concern at the property. Ask about dripping pipes and windows for example. Minimize condensation This is a very popular topic over on our Forum at the moment. With temperatures dropping outside and people turning the heating on, there’s a good chance you may notice more condensation in your property. Together with damp, condensation is one of the main reasons that tenants complain to their local council, so its important you know how to reduce this. One of the ways you can do this is to keep surfaces warm. Check out a recent Call of the Week on this topic and how to minimize condensation in your property. Make sure you have sufficient outdoor lighting With the clocks going back this weekend, it’ll be darker much...
Delivery of housing through the planning system in Wales: RLA response

Delivery of housing through the planning system in Wales: RLA response

Written by Victoria Barker of the RLA – 23rd October 2018 The RLA has responded to a consultation that was run by the Welsh Government on the delivery of housing through the planning system. The Welsh Government undertook  a ‘Call for Evidence’ to explore ways for the planning system to assist in increasing the delivery of new homes in sustainable locations in line with the commitment in its national strategy, Prosperity for All, including achieving the delivery of 20,000 affordable homes during the current term of Government. Prosperity for All is a national strategy in Wales, aimed at delivering its key priorities for the rest of this Assembly term, and set the right foundations to tackle the big challenges faced by the nation. The consultation aimed at gathering views on how to improve the delivery of Local Development Plan (LDP) housing requirements, including looking at the interrelationship with the measuring of the housing land supply needed to meet these requirements. The consultation ended on the 10th October, and the Welsh Government is currently reviewing responses. Joined up approach In our response to this consultation, which you can read here, we are championing a joined up approach between local planning authorities (LPAs) that considers Strategic Development Areas .such as the Cardiff City Region and would cite examples such as the Greater Manchester Combined Authorities ‘Our GM’ Place Initiative. In response to the question around deliverable housing needs assessment, the RLA is calling for ‘a more holistic analysis of the needs of the Welsh population’, which would calculate the specific requirement and allocation provided by all sectors including the private rented sector. For example, the private rented sector in Wales is housing...