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Cardiff Council looks to improve Cathays’ private rented homes


A housing licensing scheme that seeks to achieve decent standards of rented accommodation for tenants and good management practices among landlords in Cathays could be reintroduced next year.

The Cathays Additional Licensing Scheme provides extra powers to the Council to deliver more effective improvements to property standards in privately rented homes as well as deal with issues such as community safety, anti-social behaviour, sustainability, energy efficiency and waste management in an area with a high density of rental properties.

The scheme was first introduced in 2010 to cover all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the ward before being renewed in 2016.

Since its introduction, the scheme has secured the licensing of 1,779 properties, a reduction in the number of higher risk category hazards when a property is inspected from 26% to only 8% and an increase to 46% in the proportion of licensed HMO properties which are up to standard.

The 2016 scheme has been in place 5 years and Cabinet will now discuss the redesignation of Cathays as an Additional Licensing Scheme area at its next meeting on Thursday, October 20.

Consultation with tenants, residents, local businesses, landlords and agents on the proposal to renew the scheme took place in February and March this year and Cabinet is recommended to approve its renewal from 1stFebruary 2023 for a further five years.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “Back in 2010 when the first Additional Licensing Scheme was declared in Cathays, the area presented the highest rate of complaints to the Council’s Housing Enforcement section regarding housing standards. The area has a large student population with high demand for rented accommodation but sadly, some landlords and agents advertise and let poor quality properties.

“On the whole since the scheme has been running, complaints have declined and standards have improved as housing enforcement officers are able to take action against landlords whose properties pose a health and safety risk to their tenants with fire safety, warmth and security issues.

“However, we know that even when properties have passed an inspection and become licensed, standards can deteriorate over time and within the private rented market in the area, there remains widespread non-conformity with statutory requirements.

“Redesignating Cathays as an Additional Licensing Scheme area will allow officers to continue to build on the excellent progress made over the past 12 years for the benefit of tenants, landlords and the wider community too.”