Since the Rent Smart Wales deadline for registration and licensing by private landlords has passed, there are still around 3,500 landlords illegally letting properties after failing to sign up to the scheme which began three years ago. The aim of the Welsh Government’s Rent Smart Wales scheme is to help tackle illegal landlords who give the private rented sector a bad name. The scheme was launched on 23 November 2015, with landlords given 12 months to register before it became law in 2016.
Importantly, Rent Smart Wales have been consistently taking action against landlords and letting agencies who have not registered under the scheme or attained a licence, with serious consequences.
Rent Smart Wales Prosecutions and Fines
In an article published by BBC Wales earlier this year, Rent Smart Wales stated that though most landlords were fully compliant with legislation, it was cracking down on those who are breaking the law. They confirmed that 15 landlords who failed to comply with the scheme have been prosecuted with a further 185 people have been issued with fixed penalty notices.
What’s more, the first estate agency was also prosecuted last November having failed to submit a completed licence application or register the rental properties and was fined £4,600.
More recently, a Cardiff based landlord has been convicted for failing to provide information requested about his rental properties for the Rent Smart Wales registration and licensing process. The landlord had registered nine rental properties in his own name incorrectly when they should have been registered in his wife’s name or that of his company who he said was acting as immediate landlord of the properties.
He was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay court costs of £1,400 and a £170 victim surcharge.
Guidance for Landlords
These are just some examples of the steps that Rent Smart Wales will take to ensure landlords are compliant with the legislation.
If you are a private landlord, whether you are established or new to the rental market in Wales, you have to register with Rent Smart Wales; and if you manage the properties yourself, you also have to gain a licence. Alternatively, if you are planning to appoint a letting agency to manage your rental properties you need to ensure that the agency is registered and holds a valid licence.
For guidance on what you need to do to register with Rent Smart Wales and how to get a licence, read the blog we posted when Rent Smart Wales was launched (click here) or visit the Rent Smart Wales website.
McCartan Lettings was one of the first letting agencies in Swansea to register under the Rent Smart Wales scheme and the agency is fully licensed with all team members trained under the scheme to achieve the licence.
We can also provide advice to our landlords on how to get registered and as a fully licensed agency we take the headache away from our landlords by managing their properties on their behalf.
To find out more about our managed services, call us today on 01792 430100.
Image Source: Rent Smart Wales