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First prosecution under selective licencing for Carmarthenshire

A Welsh landlord has become the first to be prosecuted by Carmarthenshire County Council under its selective licensing scheme.

The council introduced selective licensing in the Tyisha ward in 2014 in an effort to improve living conditions for tenants and bring down levels of anti-social behaviour.

The scheme requires all landlords to apply for a license, but landlord Brett Richard Taylor had failed to apply.

He pleaded guilty at Carmarthenshire Magistrates Court on 26 June to an offence contrary to Section 95 of the Housing Act 2004, in that he failed to correctly licence his premises.

He was fined £290 with further costs totalling £433.

His tenant may now be able to claim back all the rental payments made during the period the property was unlicensed.

More significantly, because of his conviction, Taylor is not classified as a ‘fit and proper person’ to manage any properties he owns in Tyisha and must nominate someone else to manage them, and apply to be the licence holder, on his behalf.

Furthermore, when the Welsh Government launches its Rent Smart Wales Scheme later this month – a national landlords registration and licensing scheme which makes it mandatory for all landlords and agents in Wales to register and licence their properties – Taylor will not be able to apply and he will not  be  allowed to manage any properties he owns, anywhere in Wales.

Cllr Linda Evans, executive board member for housing, said: “This sends a clear message to all landlords with homes in the Tyisha ward – we are taking the selective licensing scheme very seriously.

“If you rent out a poorly managed, substandard, property and leave your tenants at risk, we will catch up with you.”

She added: “We have made every effort to encourage landlords to license each of their properties in this ward, and where they fail to do so, we will prosecute. Unfortunately, as this case demonstrates, this has serious consequences for landlords in the long-run.”

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