With the Rent Smart Wales scheme put into effect, the first landlord has been fined for non-compliance to the new scheme. The Rent Smart Wales scheme has been implemented by Cardiff Council and looks make sure that the rental market is compliant with legislation that has been put into place across the 22 Welsh local authorities.
The Rent Smart Wales scheme entails that landlords must be registered if they are expected to comply to the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. The landlords that have rental property in Wales must be registered and have a license granted by Cardiff Council, the designated Licensing Authority for the whole of Wales. Those landlords that do not comply to the registration face legal action, and it has been revealed that one Cardiff landlord that has failed to comply with the Rent Smart Wales scheme has been fined.
The Cardiff landlord does not reside in Wales, yet if the property is in Wales, landlords must register. Shelley Bailey from Wotton-Under Edge in Gloucestershire has been prosecuted under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 for breaking the law regarding licensing. As part of this Act, all private landlords with properties in Wales should register, with all self-managing landlords and agents expected to become trained and licensed.
Rent Smart Wales acted in information that in this case, the landlord has not complied to the regulations, with officers from Rent Smart Wales trying to contact Ms Bailey in order to inform her of her non-compliance and that she was required to register herself as well as her seven different rental properties that are located in Cardiff. Also, as she was a self-managing landlord, Ms Bailey was required to complete training as well as becoming licensed. However, Ms Bailey failed to take any steps to comply and was then issued with a £150 Fixed Penalty Notice. This too was not paid and Cardiff Council took the next step to prosecute on behalf of the Welsh Government. In her absence, Shelley 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.
This news is an important reminder of the need to obtain the correct registration in order to rent property in Wales.