Ban on 'To Let' boards in Cardiff to come into force in October but landlords criticise way plans introduced
The Wales director of the Residential Landlords Association, Douglas Haig, has criticised the move and claimed Cardiff council should have consulted fullyA ban on letting boards in two areas of Cardiff will come into force this October.
But the way it has been introduced has been criticised by landlords.
The Welsh Government gave Cardiff council the power to act on year-round adverts in Cathays and Plasnewydd – two areas heavily populated by students.
Letting agents will now have to apply for permission to display them after the Welsh Government removed presumed consent.
Boards are student 'security risk'
Residents complained they were unsightly and councillors said were a security risk to students.
But the director for Wales of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Douglas Haig, has said there should have been better consultation with landlords about the plans.
Cardiff council disagree and claim their consultation was adequate.
They say the ban will be in force from October 1 and December 31 and outside of these times the boards will have to comply to a set design.
Mr Haig said: “Too often decisions are made to introduce new rules rather than enforcing those that already exist.
Consultation would have 'increased support'
“While the RLA acknowledges that the use of ‘To Let’ boards has been abused in these areas of Cardiff we feel that Cardiff council could have benefited by consulting further with landlords and agents as how best to regulate the problem.
“Consulting with landlords and agents in Cardiff would have increased support for the regulations as well as resulting in higher rates of compliance.”
Oliver Hill, head of sales and lettings? at ?James Douglas Sales and Lettings, said: “If current legislation was followed and enforced correctly we wouldn’t see as many boards as we do today. There is little point in creating new rules if the council doesn’t enforce the old ones.”
He said the plans would also affect new businesses.
“The boards also act as a form of advertising. If you are a new agent this will make it harder to compete with the well-established agents when you are unable to advertise your business on the letting boards,” he said.
Letting board system 'has been abused'
But local landlord David Rees said the practice of displaying letting boards has been “abused”.
“There was previously a rule that said landlords and agents should take down the board once a property had been let. However this practice has been abused and the boards have been kept up after the tenants have moved in and have been kept up month after month,” he said.