Over 13,000 private landlords in Wales could be letting their property illegally, suggests data from Rent Smart Wales.
The Rent Smart Wales (RSW) scheme became law on 23rd November 2016 and requires that landlords and letting agents of Welsh properties register them. If landlords wish to self-manage their rental investment, they also have to complete training in order to obtain a licence.
According to an article on LandlordToday by the deadline, over 89,000 online accounts had been created with 64,248 licence registrations submitted. A further 13,208 applications were started, but were not completed.
The BBC reported that Communities Secretary Carl Sargeant said RSW had taken longer than usual to respond to some calls and emails. Mr Sargeant was quoted as saying that landlords who have started the process will not face action "if they have done all they can to comply".
Once a landlord is licenced, it lasts for 5 years. If a licence holder fails to comply with any condition of their licence, or is no considered longer ‘fit and proper’, their licence can be revoked.
According to various press reports, the lack of take-up in registering could also be down to mainly English landlords (who own Welsh properties) not understanding that this also applies to them even though they did not live in Wales.
The RSW scheme is designed to improve the standards of privately rented accommodation in Wales through training courses for landlords. It will also give local councils a better understanding of where private rental properties are situated.
To find out more about the scheme and to register online, visit their website at: https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/.