The landlords’ trade body says there’s an enforcement postcode lottery across part of the UK.
The National Residential Landlords Association’s Welsh Enforcement Index - the first of its kind in the UK - 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 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 private rental sector);
- The rate of inspection;
- The number of complaints investigated;
- Mandatory licensing costs; and
- The time frame for processing licence applications.
Commenting on the findings, John Stewart, deputy director of policy and research at the NRLA, says: “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.”
To read the full Welsh Enforcement Index report, click here.
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