RLA Wales Director, Douglas Haig, has been incredibly busy recently and we aren’t referring to his typical schedule of landlord meetings, policy consultation and running his business…this time we are talking about his media dealings in light of the ‘Homes Bill Wales’ recently published by the Welsh Assembly Government.
As we reported last week, the Welsh Government ‘Housing Bill’, the first of its kind exclusively for Wales has been released and is looking to positively impact the conditions of homes within the private rented sector and improve services that private landlords provide tenants in terms of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in this massive document.
The PRS is well and truly targeted as an acknowledgment of the importance of the sector and also the need to target unscrupulous landlords who flout the law and give private landlords generally a bad name. These people have been labelled ‘rogue landlords’ in many circles, much to the RLA chagrin as they are quite simply ‘criminals’ as their disregard for laws proves.
Douglas argues this point with regards to the mandatory accreditation that private landlords are subject to within the Bill’s proposals. As referenced in an InsideHousing article on the Bill, Douglas argues that such schemes do not necessarily catch the landlords they are targeting and remains a system of good landlords paying the price for their criminal counterparts. Such mandatory registration schemes could be incredibly costly for the government to implement with success, as with many licensing schemes.
Mandatory registration of private landlords by local authority is a major part of the Bill, but is not definitely going to be implemented as it is likely debate around changing aspects of the Bill is expected. The proposals are too focussed on the ‘stick’ aspect of incentive, and fail to adequately target criminal landlords.
Douglas has argued that good landlords will sign up with the scheme and bear the costs which could ultimately further put tenants out because licensing costs of good landlords may be passed down to tenants.
Elsewhere, Douglas likened schemes to target criminal landlords as “…using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut”.
Douglas has been interviewed by the BBC, ITV, and included in discussions around the housing sector.
View the links below for more information on the RLA’s stance through Wales Director Douglas Haig’s interviews:
- Douglas Haig: 1 minute 07 seconds
- Douglas Haig: 1 minute 05 seconds