A Cardiff landlord has been issued a fine of over £3,500 after failing to comply with Rent Smart Wales.
Rent Smart Wales recently issued the announcement that they would be prosecuting landlord Shelley Bailey of Eastwood Park, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 for breaking the law that requires all private landlords with properties in Wales to register, and for all self-managing landlords and agents to become trained and licensed.
Following reports that Bailey had failed to obtain a license, Rent Smart Wales attempted to contact the landlord to inform her of the requirement to register herself and her seven properties, all situated in Cardiff. She also needed to complete the training programme and become licensed herself as a self-managing landlord.
However, due to her failure to comply, Ms Bailey was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £150 in April. 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, and was subsequently fined £3,580 and ordered to pay £457 in costs.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Councillor 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.’