Many more Bristol renters will get greater protection against rogue landlords under new licensing controls being rolled-out to three parts of the city in spring next year. From April 2022 licensing schemes for private rental properties will to be extended to Brislington West, Bedminster and Horfield.
In Bristol, privately rented housing accounts for 30.3% (61,580) of the city’s housing stock (Building Research Establishment (BRE) Bristol Housing Stock Report, October 2020) – more than 10% above the national average of 19%. In Bedminster ward the private rented sector is 29%, Brislington West 25% and Horfield 31%. In Bedminster and Brislington West wards the level of disrepair and properties with actionable hazards under the Housing Act 2004, is higher than the citywide average.
Landlords renting out certain types of homes in Brislington West, Bedminster and Horfield will have to pay for licences from the council from April 2022. The licences will give Bristol City Council the power to check living conditions and fine landlords whose properties don’t meet minimum standards.Similar licensing schemes already exist in several other Bristol wards and it is hoped that, this extension will raise rental housing standards in these additional areas of the city starting from April 2022.
Media coverage is a key element of tackling poor housing standards and the housing charity Shelter want to hear from anyone who has struggled with housing issues who is willing to share their story. Shelter say that real experiences help them campaign for change and could prevent other people from having to face similar problems. Sharing stories will help to raise awareness of the housing emergency and the devastating impact that it is having on people’s lives.
Shelter provide advice and guidance on housing issues and the Bristol service team are available by phone on 03301 755 121 between the hours of 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday. Information is also available via their get help pages online.