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Rent Smart Wales licence breach leads to fine

A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay more than £4,000 after being prosecuted for breaching new laws demanding that all private landlords with homes in Wales must be licensed.

Shelley Bailey of Wotton-Under-Edge in Gloucestershire has been penalised after ignoring the law requiring all private landlords with properties in Wales to register and all self-managing landlords and letting agents to become trained and licensed.

The Welsh government’s Rent Smart Wales scheme became law, as part of the Housing Act (Wales) 2014, at the tail end of last year, and yet it is estimated that a number of private landlords with properties in Wales have still not signed up to the scheme, which could mean that they are letting out properties illegally.

Bailey is one of those landlords who had failed to comply with the rules, even after Rent Smart Wales officers attempted to contact her, by failing to register herself and obtain a license for her seven properties in Cardiff, while also failing to complete the mandatory training for all self-managing landlords.

After Bailey failed to take any steps to comply with the law, she was issued with a £150 Fixed Penalty Notice by Cardiff Council, which operates the scheme on behalf of Welsh government.

In her absence, Bailey was found guilty of 21 offences at Cardiff Magistrates and was fined £3,580 as well as being ordered to pay £457 in costs.

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