Caerphilly Private Landlord Forum Monday 20th October 2014
Greg Rowland opened the forum by welcoming everyone. Greg stated that the forum is now in it's 7th year and reiterated how important and grateful he was to everyone for their continued support in making it a success. He also thanked Council Officers for administering the forum and the speakers on the evening for giving up their time to speak at these events.
Anne Rowland was our first speaker of the evening.
Anne introduced herself and explained that she is currently on secondment to the Welsh Government to assist with the "Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
Anne's presentation commenced with some facts:
14% of properties in Wales are privately rented. It is estimated that there are between 70,000 and 130,000 privately rented properties in Wales. 50% of the PRS has only one property to rent and Caerphilly has 5,000 rented properties.
Anne then went on to tell the forum about the "Housing White Paper" and it's passage through the Assembly. It was passed by the Assembly in July this year and was given "Royal Assent" in September. It is now an Act!
Part 2 - of the Act discharges homelessness duty into the Private Rented Sector.
Part 1 - is attributed to Landlords and Agents in Wales.
For more detailed information on the Act you can log into the Welsh Government website and look up "Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
A brief synopsis was then given on Part 1 of the Act.
The legislation will commence at different times. It is anticipated that Part 1 of the Act affecting landlords and agents will come into force in the Autumn of 2015. All Landlords and Agents will have to register with their licensing authority and proceed to become licensed.
It is intended to have one licensing authority to administer the scheme on behalf of the 22 councils in Wales so that there is only one access point. The licensing Authority will maintain the register and issue licenses.
REGISTRATION - Registering is simply an administration process and could possible be done on line. Details of landlord and what properties they let will be required and an administration fee for processing the application will be charged. It is anticipated a cost of £50.00 will be charged plus £10.00 per property listed. Registration will last 5 years and there will be an obligation for landlords to keep their information up to date.
LICENSING - Licensing will only effect landlords who do the administration of their lets themselves. Simply, whoever does it day to day has to be licensed. They will have declare themselves "Fit & Proper", attend an approved training course to improve knowledge. Licensing will last 5 years upon the condition that landlords and Agents will continue to comply with welsh code of practice and continue to be fit & proper.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO NOT REGISTER ? Enforcement action will be taken which includes prosecution, fines, fixed penalty notices, rent stopping orders!
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT - There is still much work to be done by Welsh Government and Local Authorities. Regulations and codes of practice have to be created, along with communication and marketing tools.
Anne closed by stating that the "Housing (Wales) Act 2014 has been introduced to provide a better coordinated and supported Private Rented Sector.
If any landlords or agents wish to contact Anne direct you can email her direct RowlandA1@Wales.GSI.Gov.uk.
To view Anne's presentation log onto the landlord website www.caerphillyprivatelandlords.co.uk
We would like to say thank you!
The forum held on the 20th October was well attended and the Charmian would like to convey his thanks to everyone who attended.
We had 16 new landlords who had not attended a forum previously.
Out of the 76 in attendance only 20 were not accredited!
We hope that you found the content of the forum informative and hope to keep up the numbers for all future forums.
The next speaker of the evening was Paul Routledge, Managing Director from Landlord Referencing.co.uk
Paul introduced himself as the Director of his company and also as a Landlord himself. He outlined to the forum his personal experiences as a landlord and gave an account of what he has encountered with tenants during his time as a landlord and what led him to look into setting up a landlord referencing business.
As Paul stated " there is nothing he has not seen, had done to him or would shock him" about tenants and he believes that landlord referencing is the way forward to ensure that landlords and agents are not taking on any other landlord or agents bad tenants.
Landlord Referencing provides all aspects of tenant referencing including financial reports, identity authentication, credit score and so on. They will also provide a comprehensive insurance service. One of Paul's visions is to introduce a scoring system to score good and bad tenants on their tenancies. Similar to a credit reference, a tenant could start to build up a tenant score.
As well as tenant referencing Paul's company is the only company that provides landlords and agents with a lifestyle network reference on a potential tenant!
HOW IT WORKS - Paul and his legal team have worked tirelessly on how to set up a data base which allows disclosure of a tenant that will not contravene the Date Protection Laws. This has been achieved. When a landlord or agent joins landlord referencing they would have a secure portal only accessed by the themselves. On this portal they could upload a name of a tenant and write a report on how the tenant conducted themselves during the tenancy. Any potential new landlord of that tenant would only have to type in the name of the tenant and if that tenant is known to any other landlord it would show a match. The new landlord would then be given the name of the tenant's previous landlord and contact number and he could contact the landlord or agent direct. The previous landlord could access his portal and provide information accordingly.
Paul answered a number of questions from the floor and a lot of interest was generated. If anyone wants more information about Landlord Referencing.co.uk then contact Paul direct on 01179 595 330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul confirmed that his team would be happy to guide anyone on a one-to-one basis around the Landlord Referencing System website for ease of use.
DATE OF NEXT FORUM
Date for your diaries! Our next landlord forum is scheduled for sometime in January 2015 at Ty Penallta Council Offices starting at 6.00pm. Keep checking the website for information.
Discretionary Housing Payments
Donna once again appealed to landlords that if they have any tenants receiving housing benefit who are struggling to find their top up part of their rent to let her know. Donna would be happy to complete the DHP form with the tenant. A DHP is however, a short term solution to a problem but it could help a tenant to sustain their tenancy whilst they get on their feet!