Robert Johnston Housing Standards (WCBC) – June 2017

Robert Johnston from the Housing Standards department in Wrexham Council joined us as our speaker at the June Property Meet.

Rich updated everyone by informing them that planning had been granted for 300+ houses to be built in Llay.

Robert Johnston was introduced and welcomed to the property meet.

Robert began by explaining that he currently works as part of Housing Standards and manages a team of 11 staff which encompasses Environmental Health and Housing Standards. The whole team covers noise nuisance, pollution control as well as the licensing of caravan and residential mobile home sites. The Housing Act 2004 empowers officers to carry out inspections of rental properties. They try to work with landlords to get any deficiencies rectified; they are able to take formal action where a landlord refuses to carry out any work they have requested be done. The council’s website has information on it about HMO’s for anyone wishing to know more about this type of property.

A list of the licensed HMO’s in the Wrexham area are put onto the website every month. There are two types of licensing in Wrexham; Mandatory Licensing for properties which have 5 or more unrelated persons living in them over 3 or more floors and Additional Licensing which covers any other HMO other than a Mandatory HMO i.e. 3 or more unrelated persons forming 2 or more households over any number of floors. Once again the prescribed standards for HMO’s can be found on the council’s website. Regulations also govern HMO’s.

He explained that the planning committee want the council to look at the concentration of HMO’s in certain areas of Wrexham.

He touched on Rent Smart Wales and highlighted the resource library which can be found on the Rent Smart Wales website. This has a wealth of useful information such as guidance on carbon monoxide and mould as well as the Code of Practice for Licensed Landlords and Agents. He mentioned a case in the past week whereby a landlord in the Newport area had been prosecuted for failing to comply with the requirement to register with Rent Smart Wales. As a council they work in partnership with Rent Smart Wales by cross referencing their database with Rent Smart Wales. So far 19 fixed penalty notices for £150 have been issued by Rent Smart Wales against landlords for failing to comply with the requirement to register.

Robert was thanked for coming along to the Property Meet. Should anyone wish to speak to Robert then his contact details are:-

Phone:- 01978 297425