Councils in South Wales are urging local landlords and letting agents across the area to ensure they are registered or licensed with Rent Smart Wales following the successful prosecution of non-compliant landlords.
The legal obligation for all landlords and letting agents operating in Wales to register or license themselves and their properties has been in effect since 23 November 2016, and Rent Smart Wales has already successfully prosecuted a number of landlords for failing to become licensed, resulting in fines reaching many thousands of pounds due to their failure to comply.
Two recent prosecutions of a landlord from Cardiff and another from Neath have led Cardiff Council to issue a warning less than a year since the landlord registration process became a legal obligation. Cardiff Council warn that those who continue to ignore the law will indeed be found and prosecuted, with a spokesperson from Cardiff Council, the single licensing authority for Wales, commenting:
“Rent Smart Wales regularly receives reports about unregistered properties and landlords who own or manage properties without being registered and licensed. These prosecutions show that we will find out about those individuals who think they are under the radar.
We work with local authorities across Wales to identify unregistered properties and landlords who aren't complying and get in contact to remind them of their legal obligations. As these prosecutions show, there are clearly those who ignore the warnings but enforcement activity is gaining momentum and we will take action.”
One recent prosecution of a Cardiff based landlord came about after Rent Smart Wales made contact regarding the registration and license of a property that was being let in the Whitchurch area of Cardiff. The property was reported as unregistered earlier in the year, as the Cardiff landlord had created a Rent Smart Wales account, but had failed to both register the property and apply for a license. The outcome was a fixed penalty notice, but following failure to pay the fine and take the action required to comply with law, magistrates at Cardiff Crown Court found the landlord guilty of three offences and ordered them to pay a fine of £1,980 with £577 costs.
Other landlords prosecuted earlier in the year for letting unlicensed properties in South Wales have received fines and costs totalling £5,570 and £4,037, highlighting the importance of making sure you are registered and licensed with the Rent Smart Wales scheme.
If you would like more information about the landlord registration scheme, and the legal requirements that landlords in Wales must comply with, you can learn more at the Rent Smart Wales website.
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