Industry News Tim Thomas 10/11/2020

NRLA calls for Swansea additional licence postponement

NRLA Wales was disappointed to learn that the City and County of Swansea will be pushing ahead with an additional licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMO) in the St Thomas electoral ward, and to renew the scheme in the Castle and Uplands wards.

The decision was made during the Council’s Full Council meeting, held on Wednesday 4 November. It was passed unanimously by all members of the city’s council without opposition.

This means that the scheme will be in operation from February 15 2021. HMO landlords in the area will be obliged to pay for a licence costing between £714 and £1,020.

Back in January, the RLA responded to the council’s consultation on the scheme, highlighting concerns over the high cost of the licence; the scheme's fees are similar to that of additional licensing schemes in London where the operating costs would be expected to be higher.

This cost will be in addition to the Rent Smart Wales licence that landlords in the area already have to pay.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor David Hopkins, delivered the report and described the scheme as a tool to improve standards by working with landlords.  He also said that licence fees will go towards funding more HMO Officers, but he acknowledged that recruitment will be challenging during the pandemic. 

Given the difficulties the council are likely to face in recruiting officers to improve HMO properties in the area, the NRLA Wales have written to the Deputy Leader asking him to consider delaying the scheme until a time when recruitment will be less restricted.

Landlord in Wales? Read the latest guidance on managing your property during the coronavirus online here.

Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas Welsh Policy Officer

Tim Thomas is the Welsh Policy Officer for the NRLA. With almost fifteen years’ experience in policy and research roles in local authorities and the third sector, Tim specialises in policy development in the Welsh Private Rented Sector. Tim also leads on the NRLA’s energy efficiency and welfare and benefits policy brief, including lobbying the government on improving the environment for landlords who let to tenants in receipt of Universal Credit.

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