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Almost 3,800 landlords could face fines for illegally renting out properties

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

  • Peter David

    Just more nonsense bashing landlords

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    Yep

  • cantseethewood forthetrees

    I think the next thing the Welsh government should do is extend the Rent Smart Wales scheme to drive up the quality of accomodation provided to rent-a-room tenants - after all it's pretty unfair to exclude these types of tenants from such incentives and the protections they provide.
    Any owner occupiers who rents a room (even on an occasional basis) should be made to register their properties, undergo training, and bring their properties up to the required health and safety standards in order to obtain a rent a room licence. Rent-a-room providers receive a sizeable tax free income allowance from HMRC, to qualify for this, they really should show they are fit and proper and the accomodation they offer is up to srcatch.

  • icon

    The last time that tenants were given almost total power over landlords the letting market effectively became zero. The only options left were the councils and 'buy your own'. Council properties available for let were as rare as hens' teeth.

    The only reason that we have a significant lettings market at all is because Maggie T. gave landlords back their rights to manage their property. It was the only way to get thousands of desperate people into shelter.
    Wales is within an inch or so of re-creating that disaster again. The moment the point of negative returns hits landlords collectively they will stop letting.

    Be very careful of what your dreams are leading you to ask for!

  • icon

    scotland is heading the same way!

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