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Licensing delays mean no action against landlords who’ve obeyed the law

Landlords in Wales who have not yet signed up to Rent Smart Wales, but have started the application process will not face any action “if they have done all they can to comply” after a system registering all residential landlords across Wales for the first time faced delays yesterday, communities secretary Carl Sargeant has confirmed.

As of today, Rent Smart Wales, designed to drive up the quality of rented accommodation in Wales, requires that all landlords with buy-to-let properties in Wales have registered or become licensed, but Sargeant said that Rent Smart Wales had taken longer than usual to respond to some calls and emails.

The new registration and licensing system in Wales, which went live last year, represents a major change for the private rental sector in the principality.

The scheme requires all landlords and letting agents to register their properties. Those who have not complied could face fines.

Registering as a landlord costs £33.50 if completed online and £80.50 on paper, irrespective of the number of properties.

The communities secretary said: “Recent months have seen a huge rush to register.

"As a result, Rent Smart Wales has taken longer than usual to respond to some calls and emails.

“I appreciate this has caused concern for some landlords who haven't been able to complete the registration and licensing process.”

But while Sargeant has confirmed that those who have started the process to comply will not face enforcement action, he insists that this “must not be seen as an excuse to ignore the law”.

He added: “My message to private landlords is clear. You must take action to comply with the requirements of the law.” 

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