There is growing concern that thousands of buy-to-let landlords could face fines and possibly even prosecution for failing to sign up to a registration and licensing system in Wales.
It has now been two years since the Welsh government's Rent Smart Wales scheme became law, and yet an estimated 3,762 private landlords in Wales have still not signed up to the scheme, which could mean that they are letting out properties illegally.
Rent Smart Wales (RSW), the new registration and licensing system in Wales, which went live on 23 November 2015, has led to a major change for the private rental sector in the principality.
The scheme requires all landlords and letting agents to register their properties and undergo training to obtain a licence if they wish to self-manage their rental investment.
According to Rent Smart Wales, eight landlords have been successfully prosecuted and 162 fixed penalty notices of up to £250 have been issued.
The figures were released by Cardiff council, which is administering the scheme for the whole of Wales.
The Rent Smart Wales scheme is designed to drive up the quality of rented accommodation in Wales through training courses for landlords and by giving local councils a better understanding of where properties are situated. But while the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) in Wales said it supported the scheme’s ‘ideals’, it has raised concerns about its effectiveness.
Douglas Haig, RLA vice-chairman and director for Wales, told the press: “Valuable resources continue to be directed into yet another bureaucratic scheme that does little to actually improve the quality of housing in Wales.”
For further information about Rent Smart Wales – click here.