Wales

Landlords quiz candidates at Welsh hustings

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

More than 130 landlords questioned the six Welsh Assembly candidates battling to become the next Minister for Housing at the RLA and Homes for Wales Hustings event this week.

More than 130 landlords questioned the six Welsh Assembly candidates battling to become the next Minister for Housing at the RLA and Homes for Wales Hustings event this week.

Items for debate included Rent Smart Wales, licensing and registration of landlords and the changes to the taxation of rented homes.

Current Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, whose portfolio includes housing, represented Labour and spoke about the housing crisis in Wales during the event, at the St David’s Hotel & Spa in Cardiff.

Griffiths took questions from the audience, many of which were private sector landlords, regarding the effectiveness of Rent Smart Wales, the fees associated with licensing and registration, and the decision to remove the six month moratorium from to the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill.

Conservative AM for North Wales, Mark Isherwood, also faced questions on the tax changes coming from Westminster.

The overall message of the evening was that private sector landlords need a strong voice in the Assembly, but that politicians need to listen and work with organisations such as the RLA.

There are now less than two months until the Welsh Assembly elections and the RLA in Wales is working hard to make members’ voices are heard louder than ever in the next Welsh government.

The next hustings event will be in Swansea on April 12.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and award-winning Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

2 Comments

  • Major concerns about Welsh Government andtheir attitude to landlords. Are they on some kind of scam with letting agents as these are who are benefitting from Rent Smart Wales. Responsible landlords will continue to be responsible- this legislation will have no effect on the bad ones. It will have a negative effect on tenants as rents will have to be put up to cover landlords costs.

  • From Kevin C. Ullah – AA Properties Wales

    Landlord with a social heart.

    If I misspell anything below please forgive me, am dyslexic.

    Well what a night that was at the Hustings event organised out by RLA Cymru!

    With the current Welsh Minister Lesley Griffiths under fire from the vast majority of the landlords in the room, I actually felt sorry for her. Prior to the latest vote on the Renting Homes Bill I sent Lesley 3 emails (only one bounced back as I misspelt her name) actually begging her for a chance to sit on the panel as a witness to what us working landlords go through every day. They say revenge is sweet! Except after listening to Lesley, I really wasn’t in the mood for revenge, I just wanted “clarity”.

    KU = Kev Ullah LG = Lesley Griffiths

    1. (KU) Why didn’t Lesley go ahead with “probationary 3 month tenancies”, same as social tenants, this way I and my fellow landlords with a social conscience could “take a punt” on providing initial short term then onto long term tenancies. The removal of the 6 month moratorium would help the homeless, soldiers returning from war, abused spouses moving away from their disruptive partner. My position hasn’t changed on that.

    Answer. (LG)
    Lesley stated that she could not have had her Bill passed without Plaid Cymru (Jocelyn Davies AM) and Liberal Democrats (Peter Black) vote. Conservative (Mark Isherwood AM) shouted out “I would have voted it through if you had removed the 6 month moratorium”! Lesley looked at me, said “No, he wouldn’t have Kevin”. Gamesmanship..politicians…no…it’s a bit early for that..isn’t it?

    So, here lies the problem. We have political parties joining up to get “their piece of the action”. The RLA Cymru team has worked tirelessly over the past few years in regards to the Renting Homes Bill to get our piece of the action. Why oh why didn’t these parties listen to RLA/Landlords PRIOR to the Bill being passed in law. Why should we just roll over and take it when they dismissed our concerns? And now, guess what…they need OUR VOTES.

    They say…revenge is sweet…but I am above that…seriously.

    Neil McEvoy (Plaid) said that he was there to listen to what us landlords have to say, and going forward wants to engage with us in our concerns. Neil has a bold plan and I think he is genuine of our problems and concerns.

    Eluned Parrot (Lib Dems) said that she favoured a robust criminality of landlords that flout the law. She had some other good suggestions to work closer with landlords. How about educating our landlords I thought?

    Mark Isherwood (Conservative) said that he told the Assembly many years ago about the housing crisis in Wales, and was told to not use those words. Mark does not pander to central govt. and opposed George Osborne’s unfair tax on landlords. Good to see a local Tory stand up to central govt bullies.

    Lesley Griffiths (Labour) said that she will move fast on landlords concerns about the registration fiasco, that she wants to work closer with Douglas at RLA and she did not realise how much landlords contribute to the local economy hiring builders, plumbers etc. I think Lesley really understood our mood in that room, Who knows whether she will be able to do something about our mood post election?

    The questions we need to ask after this hustings event are.

    1. Who do we believe?
    2. Who do we trust?
    3. Who can deliver with landlords a robust landlord friendly/tenant friendly mandate?
    4. Who actually listens to us landlords?

    Before I leave this blog, I would like to thank Douglas and Daniel and all of the RLA Cymru staff who work behind the scenes incredibly hard. They do it for us landlords, they do it to protect us, but also educate us to where we can go wrong, or right.

    I get asked this question many times. “Kevin, I don’t know how you do it, taking in a homeless person as a tenant, isn’t it a nightmare?”. I say, “Yes, it is a nightmare, but if I go that extra mile, put in that extra ten hours work a week (on top of my 40), then that nightmare turns into a sense of I’ve done my bit to help someone less fortunate.” We owe it to ourselves to be better human beings.

    I ask that you do not vilify Lesley Griffiths for any mistakes she has done in the Renting Homes Bill, for there are some great protections on abandonment, anti social behaviour etc, and I really believe that she does care.

    I ask that we all work together to implement a plan to work with local government departments, work closely with RLA Cymru, work closely with local Housing Options departments that really need our help to house the unfortunate, and to give us support and guidance. We should not be afraid of hard work (I have 2 slipped discs and 2 operations under my belt lol!). We are landlords and we should be proud to do our bit for society, and be recognised and appreciated for our dedication to supply accommodation in Wales.

    There…that’s me done. (I don’t half go on)

    Kev Ullah.

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