New Housing Bill Unveiled To Tackles Unscrupulous Landlords

A new housing bill that will tackle unscrupulous landlords and family homelessness has been hailed as a monumental step forward by a Labour AM.

David Rees AM said the wide-ranging legislation would make a difference to thousands of people across Aberavon who are currently struggling with housing difficulties.

The bill includes:

• Plans to enable Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to charge a higher rate of council tax on empty homes.

• The introduction of a mandatory licensing scheme with added accreditation for all landlords and letting agents in the private rented sector.

• A stronger duty on local authorities to prevent homelessness .

• New standards for quality of accommodation for local authority and housing association properties.

David Rees AM said: “The new housing bill will make a difference to thousands of people across Aberavon and Neath Port Talbot as a whole who are experiencing housing difficulties.

“Time and time again we hear horror stories of unscrupulous landlords ripping off tenants and a new licensing scheme will help combat that.

“Homelessness is something I desperately want to see eradicated and the Welsh Labour Government is putting that at the very heart of this bill.

“We want to make sure everyone in Neath Port Talbot has access to a decent affordable home and I am proud that Welsh Labour is doing everything possible to achieve that goal.”

Welsh Labour’s Housing Minister Carl Sargeant said: “The Welsh Government is determined to make a positive difference to people’s lives and to do all it can to meet housing need.

“This Bill is very welcome as it will make a significant contribution to this Government’s priority of delivering more homes, better homes and better services across Wales.”


Editor’s Notes

The Bill will now proceed through the National Assembly’s legislation making process.  If the Bill completes all its stages, it is expected to receive Royal Assent in summer 2014.