Landlords’ experiences of patchy licensing standards enforcement across the UK is well known but now the NRLA has published solid data showing how those operating in Wales face a ‘postcode lottery’.

The organisation has published its inaugural Welsh Enforcement Index that ranks the country’s councils according to their efficiency both enforcing housing standard and administering licensing in the private rented sector.

This report, which has been several years in gestation, includes the shocking revelation that councils in Wales who charge the most for property licensing are often the slowest at processing applications, one of the key bugbears of many landlord who are forced to licence their properties.

Also, the report reveals a ‘regulatory gap’ between an introduction of licensing regulations and enforcement at a local level – suggesting councils are good at voting through selective and additional licensing schemes but not so good at getting tooled up to administer them.

The NRLA has scored each of Wales’ local authorities based on staff levels, inspections, PRS complaints, licence costs and licence processing efficiency.

Denbighshire, Gwynedd and Flintshire Councils scored highest on the Index and Monmouthshire and Powys ranked lowest in the Enforcement Index (see full list below).

selective licensing

“Overall whilst there is cause for optimism in some Welsh regions, the application of the rules is inconsistent and this is a situation which must be addressed urgently,” says John Stewart (pictured), Deputy Director of Policy and Research at the NRLA.

“What our research underlines is the need for better, more efficient enforcement of existing regulations before we take steps towards the introduction of new rules.

“We hope that this Index can serve as the basis of a wider discussion on how Wales’ local authorities can play a bigger role in the development of a fairer, better functioning private rented sector.”

Read the index in full.

A similar index for England is expected to follow.

Full list by local authority

Local authorityScore
Blaenau Gwent47
Vale of Glamorgan45
Rhondda Cynon Taf32


  1. What we need is NOT more rules, we need far less simple realistic rules. These rules are meant to smother small landlords. WE DO NOT NEED lLICENCING. RSW has done nothing literally for Landlord nor Tenant since we have been members and just taken our money. Scrap the wole lot, sack the useless people making them and start again with a new clear sensible and easy to follow fair rules for both Landlords and Tenants. Scrap all the “jobs for the boys” and bring in common sense which seems to have flown out of the window years ago.

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