Another landlord has been fined after failure to comply with Rent Smart Wales Legislation. This comes after a previous landlord faced a £4,400 fine for their failure to comply.
The legislation states that by law, all landlords and letting agents must either register or licence themselves and their properties. Self-managing landlords and agents also need to comply and obtain a licence after completing a relevant training course and passing a ‘fit and proper’ assessment.
Rent Smart Wales state:
A Cardiff landlord who ignored the Rent Smart Wales scheme faces a bill of more than £3,500 for non-compliance.
Landlord Shelley Bailey of Eastwood Park, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire was prosecuted under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 for breaking the law requiring all private landlords with properties in Wales to register and all self-managing landlords and agents to become trained and licensed.
Acting on reports about her failure to comply, Rent Smart Wales officers attempted to contact Ms Bailey to inform her of the requirement to register herself and her seven Cardiff properties and, as a self-managing landlord to complete training and become licensed.
Ms Bailey failed to take any steps to comply and was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £150 in April but her failure to pay led to the prosecution by Cardiff Council, who operate the scheme on behalf of Welsh Government.
She was found guilty of 21 offences in her absence at Cardiff Magistrates Court, fined £3,580 and ordered to pay £457 costs.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “Rent Smart Wales was established to drive up standards in the private rented sector, protecting tenants and ensuring landlords and agents are fit and proper and aware of their rights and responsibilities.
“Landlords and agents had a full year to comply before the November 2016 deadline when enforcement powers became active but despite this, some landlords believe they can continue to flout the law and side-step complying.
“This case shows that we are actively seeking out those who fail to comply and are working with Local Authorities across Wales and others to identify cases of non-compliance. We’re keen to hear from tenants and neighbours who have concerns about unregistered landlords and properties.
“As we see with this prosecution, the sanctions for failing to comply with Rent Smart Wales are serious and the fine imposed reflects the complete disregard for the scheme shown by the landlord. It should be a stark warning to all those who are yet to comply and I encourage any unregistered or unlicensed landlords or agents not to delay. Come forward and comply without delay.”
Make sure you comply with the law
Agents should be aware that to further comply with the law, and gain a Rent Smart Wales licence, they must protect their tenant’s deposit within 30 calendar days of receipt with a government-authorised scheme, like mydeposits. This also includes serving tenants with the prescribed information within the same time frame. Agents must also be members of an external, escalated redress scheme, such as the Property Redress Scheme, and have adequate Client Money Protection insurance in place.
For more information on Right to Rent legislation read our blog here. You can also find out specific registration details by visiting the Rent Smart Wales website or by calling their helpline on 03000 133344.