RLA against additional HMO licensing scheme in Cardiff

The RLA is against the plans put forward by Cardiff Council to renew an additional HMO licensing scheme in the borough.

Cardiff Council said they want to renew the additional licensing scheme in Plasnewydd for a futher 5 years, in order to “build upon the positive improvements already achieved and further improve and maintain the quality of smaller HMOs and safety and security of tenants”.

However, in the RLA’s response to this consultation, there are a couple of reasons why the association is against these plans to renew the scheme:

1. Nature of the consultation.

There are issues in accessing necessary consultation documents, including no link to the consultation document itself on the live consultation page;

Best practice guidelines from both the UK Government and the National Assembly for Wales recommends that for a consultation of this importance, a minimum period of twelve weeks would be required with additional time considered should the consultation period fall over public holidays. However, this consultation was only open for seven weeks, with the Christmas and New Year break in the middle.

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2. Criminal landlords will be ignoring the scheme.

The charge for additional HMO licence is between £475 and £550. The RLA ensures the government that landlords will increase rents to cover the licence cost, meanwhile numbers of criminal operators will simply ignore the scheme, as they do other regulations.

3. Questions over effectiveness of the current additional licensing scheme.

The consultation document states that:

“Currently 37% of the additional properties are confirmed as being up to standard, including those that were complaint on the application and those as a result of the licensing process.

“Additional levels of security are required for properties licensing under the Scheme, which has resulted in 521 notices being served in relation to security since the Scheme was implemented, 17% of which have been confirmed as complied”.

Have your say in this consultation

This consultation is running until 31st January, and the RLA is urging landlords to respond and make their views heard. Read the RLA’s full response.

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