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Tory call for rental regulations to be changed to boost supply

A prominent Welsh Conservative politician has called for a reform of the strict measures imposed on the private rental sector in that country, in a bid to boost supply.

Janet Finch-Saunders, member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy and shadow minister with responsibility for housing, has called for reform of the Rent Smart Wales package of rules surrounding the private rental sector.

She says landlords in Wales are leaving the sector causing an acute shortage of houses to rent across the nation.


It is eight years since RSW was established under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 to ensure compliance with legislation affecting the private rented sector. With the first licenses obtained by RSW now being renewed, Finch-Saunders says it’s time to ascertain how RSW is operating and how it can be improved.

“Less than half of landlords have reported that finding information about how to comply with new duties under Rent Smart Wales was easy. At the same time, 49 per cent reported it being difficult or very difficult to register with RSW, whilst 46 per cnet said that it was difficult or very difficult to find information about RSW” she says.

“It has also been found that more than four in 10 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.

“I agree with the National Residential Landlords Association that the Welsh Government should make a number of changes to ensure that RSW works for both tenants and the majority of good, responsible landlords in Wales who adhere to their legal duties.”

She says that eight years on from the founding of RSW it is time for the Welsh Government to:

- Make 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.

Finch-Saunders concludes: “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”.

  • icon

    And at least with one person the penny finally drops.


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