Cardiff Council was selected to be the Licensing Authority for Wales in 2015, and as a part of this Cardiff launched the Rent Smart Wales scheme in order to make sure that all those who own rental properties in Wales, whether they live in Wales or not, to be licenses along with all agents. As part of this regulation that falls under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, all self-managing landlords must also undergo training before being licensed.
A Cardiff Landlord from Gloucestershire has been prosecuted for failing to comply to the Rent Smart Wales scheme. Shelley Bailey was the recipient of a number of failed contact attempts by officers working for Rent Smart Wales, and was at first given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £150. This was also ignored and the landlord in this case was prosecuted under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. In her absence, Shelley Bailey was fined £3,580 as well as ordered to pay £457 in costs by Cardiff Magistrates Court.
This is an important reminder to get the proper licensing for landlords who own property in Wales, regardless of where they live, or face prosecution. No doubt this will not be the last case of this kind, but hopefully Ms Bailey will act as a deterrent for those with rental property in Wales.
Landlords were given a full year to comply before prosecution was a consequence. The deadline to comply was in November 2016, with enforcement powers becoming active after this deadline. Although despite the long time period to get the proper registration and training complete, there are a vast number of landlords who are non-compliant. This prosecution shows the seriousness of not obtaining the proper training and registration of landlords and their properties in Wales. Cardiff Council have also said that they are eager to hear from tenants and neighbours in regards to unregistered properties and landlords.