One in five landlords is still not registered with Rent Smart Wales
One in five landlords is still not registered with Rent Smart Wales (RSW) almost two years after the registration and licensing scheme was introduced, latest figures show.
Cardiff Council is reviewing its enforcement policy so that the 22 different local authorities can better coordinate their efforts.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) believes the 20 per cent non-compliance rate is so high because of poor communications, with RSW largely publicised in the industry press, and also blames a complex online registration system.
RLA policy officer Daniel Bellis said: "Believe it or not, landlords are normal people too. A good proportion of that 20 per cent are unlikely to be avid followers of the industry news or have that much engagement with the local council."
He adds that the estimated 130,000 landlords in Wales have to register each ‘landlord agreement’ rather than just listing all their properties and this has led to 'issues' with the RSW website.
He argues that 'resources and simplicity' need to be built into the system, so that 'landlords don’t get put off or intimidated when trying to comply'.
And he adds that enforcement is 'about striking a balance between coming down hard on those people obviously flouting the law, and bringing onside those who may have made a genuine mistake.'
"But at the same time, we also want to see the very worst offenders, those who make tenants’ lives a misery, tackled first," he said.
"In reality there are plenty of landlords living elsewhere in the UK with properties in Wales, but for some reason Rent Smart Wales doesn’t seem to reflect this.
"If the property is in Wales then the landlord, regardless of where in the world they live, must register the property (as the property is in Wales)”.
"If you’re a landlord living in Swansea, but all of your properties are in Kent, you do not need to register with Rent Smart Wales."
Alex Huntley, Head of Operations from Simple Landlords Insurance states that “registration is a quick and easy process and in most cases can be done in under half an hour. Additionally, training is a key part of the licensing process and this is also included within Rent Smart Wales. This training can be taken in person or online to help you manage and understand a tenancy and keep yourself updated on the rights and responsibilities of being a landlord.”