Industry News Sam Hunter 21/05/2021

NRLA Welsh Enforcement Index Reveals Licensing Postcode Lottery

The National Residential Landlords Association’s (NRLA) Welsh Enforcement Index, reveals an enforcement postcode lottery across Wales.

The newly launched Index, the first of its kind, is an assessment of Welsh local authorities’ enforcement capacity, ranking Welsh local authorities according to their efficiency in enforcing housing standards and administering licensing in the private rented sector.

The NRLA’s index highlights that a regulatory gap exists between the introduction of licensing regulations and enforcement at a local level. Whilst several councils score well in enforcement capacity and licensing duties, a number of local authorities scored poorly according to analysis.

Denbighshire, Gwynedd and Flintshire Councils scored highest on the Index and Monmouthshire and Powys ranked lowest in the Enforcement Index*.

The results are based on Freedom of Information (FoI) requests issued to the 22 Welsh local authorities, with 17 responses. The data was used to assess the respondents according to performance in the following areas:

  • Number of enforcement staff (proportionate to the size of the PRS)
  • Rate of inspection
  • Number of complaints investigated
  • Mandatory licensing costs
  • Time frame for processing licence applications

Commenting on the Index’s findings, John Stewart, Deputy Director of Policy and Research at the NRLA, said:

“This Index reveals a ‘regulatory gap’ in the capacity of local authorities to effectively regulate private rented housing in their area, and the efficiency of local licensing.

“Overall whilst there is cause for optimism in some Welsh regions, the application of the rules is inconsistent and this is a situation which must be addressed urgently.

“What our research underlines is the need for better, more efficient enforcement of existing regulations before we take steps towards the introduction of new rules.

“We hope that this Index can serve as the basis of a wider discussion on how Wales’ local authorities can play a bigger role in the development of a fairer, better functioning private rented sector.”

ENDS/

Notes to Editors

  • To read the full Welsh Enforcement Index report, click here.
  • Further information about the NRLA can be found at www.nrla.org.uk and via @NRLAWales
  • The NRLA’s press office can be contacted by emailing press@nrla.org.uk or ring 0300 131 6363. 

* The scores from each of the five sections – staff levels, inspections, PRS complaints, licence costs and licence processing - have been collated to create a performance-based “league” table. The maximum possible score local authorities could attain is 100. The table below sets out how each local authority performed.  

Local authority

Score

Denbighshire

75

Gwynedd

75

Flintshire

73

Pembrokeshire

61

Conwy

60

Wrexham

52

Anglesey

51

Bridgend

49

Newport

48

Blaenau Gwent

47

Vale of Glamorgan

45

Cardiff

42

Ceredigion

37

Torfaen

35

Rhondda Cynon Taf

32

Powys

30

Monmouthshire

23