Ahead of our Future Renting Wales conference next week, here we have a chat with one letting agent about what she feels the future holds for renting in Wales.
Sandra Blake has bee a letting agent for several years in Cardiff. Here, she talks about what she feels the biggest change has been in the country over the last few years, and explains what changes she would like to see in the future. Remember, to hear more about Rent Smart Wales, the latest on the fee ban in Wales and more, tickets are still available to the event, which this year is being hosted by BBC Wales’ Lucy Owen.
Hi Sandra, what has been the biggest change for landlord in Wales in the last few years?
“In my opinion the biggest change for landlords in wales in the past few years is Rent smart wales, and being completely separate in terms of legislation from the rest of England. For part time landlords or accidental landlords it can be quite confusing and hard to keep up with all the changes and to try and work out which parts effect them in Wales.
“Rent Smart Wales is a good initiative in that it provides a framework for standards to be raised, but where English is not the landlords first language, it (Rent Smart Wales) can cause problems. In my view, it is not actually doing the job it was set up to as family members or friends are actually doing the training go online and the actual landlord has no input.”
What does the future hold for landlords in Wales?
“I think some landlords are selling, and sometimes I think there’s perhaps not as much new blood entering that market as there once was.
It used to be the case that I’d see as many as twelve new people a month, but now that’s more like two a month. I think one of the big reasons for this is Section 24 changes and there’s a lot of red tape to.
The tenant fee ban is going to impact so many people as well. When the fees are banned in Wales, its looking like we could lose as much as 30% income, so at the moment I’m considering ways to overcome this.”
What would Sandra like to see in the future?
“I’ve had tenants in arrears of over £5000, and what I really want to see in the future is a more clear-cut court process because at the moment I feel like it is lacking in structure.
For example, there is a great difference between when a court case is thrown out or not. Sometimes with some section 21 court cases, the landlord had to be present or else the case would be thrown out, it depends on the judge. So I would like to see court reform”.
How has the RLA helped you?
“The RLA is a massive help and a wealth of resources. Providing up to date information regardless of where you live. The membership is priceless.”
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