Welsh landlords who have opted to manage their own properties have been reminded that they are required to submit their licence to Rent Smart Wales in order to avoid prosecution.
The reminder was issued by Lynda Thorne, the cabinet member for Housing and Communities at Cardiff Council, the licensing authority for Rent Smart Wales. It follows a recent batch of prosecutions issued against Welsh landlords who had failed to apply for a licence. Rent Smart Wales has now been in place for some time and ignorance no longer qualifies as an excuse.
The Welsh Government scheme aims to raise standards in the private rental sector. Enforcement powers have been active since November 23, 2016. Any landlords and agents who are not complying with the law sanctions including prosecution, fixed penalty notices, rent stopping and rent repayment orders.
Ms Thorne explained: ‘Self-managing landlords in Wales must realise that registering with Rent Smart Wales is not enough to comply with the law. They are also required to pass training and submit a licence application. Anyone who carries out letting or property management duties needs a licence. Enforcement powers have been active for some time now and we are tracking down and prosecuting individuals who aren’t licensed.’
She emphasised the importance of the training that accompanies the issuing of a licence: ‘Training can help people to become better landlords and of course by becoming licensed, landlords will be complying with the law and will avoid prosecution. So it’s important for landlords to complete the registration and licensing process as soon as they can.’
She concluded by saying: ‘A conviction for a self-managing landlord has serious consequences as a condition of obtaining a licence is that someone is fit and proper to carry out letting and management activities. All those who continue to operate without a licence are putting their future business at risk.’