Welsh Government must do more to support landlords says Conservative Senedd Member
The Welsh Government needs to do more to support landlords in Wales as there is “an acute shortage of houses to rent across the nation”, a Conservative Senedd Member has said.
Janet Finch-Saunders, who is herself a landlord with seven properties, said that landlords were leaving the rental sector in Wales due to a lack of support.
She has called for the establishment of a new board comprised of figures from across the sector, including tenant and landlord bodies, which would prepare reports and make recommendations to the Welsh Government.
She also called for reform of Rent Smart Wales, the body that assists landlords to comply with their legal obligations.
“I agree with the National Residential Landlords Association that the Welsh Government should make a number of changes to ensure that Rent Smart Wales works for both tenants and the majority of good, responsible landlords in Wales who adhere to their legal duties,” she said.
“If the Welsh Government does not start taking steps to support good and responsible landlords, the housing crisis and rocketing reliance on temporary accommodation in Wales is going to get worse”.
Janet Finch-Saunders, who is Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy and Shadow Minister with responsibility for housing, called on the Welsh Government to:
- See RSW 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 comprised of figures from across the sector, including tenant and landlord bodies, which would 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.
“Less than half of landlords have reported that finding information about how to comply with new duties under Rent Smart Wales was easy,” she said.
“At the same time, 49% reported it being difficult or very difficult to register with RSW, whilst 46% said that it was difficult or very difficult to find information about RSW.
“It has also been found that more than four in ten tenants are unaware of the existence of RSW.
“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.”
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