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Rent Smart Wales continue crackdown

Thursday 01 February 2018

Landlords in Wales who manage their own properties are being reminded that they must submit their licence application to Rent Smart Wales to avoid prosecution.

The prompt comes as a number of landlords who have failed to become licensed were successfully prosecuted at Cardiff Magistrates Court.

Kowser Chowdhury of Princes Avenue, Roath, Cardiff was fined £3,600 under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 for carrying out letting and management activities for a number of properties without a licence.

Mr Chowdhury completed his registration with Rent Smart Wales but failed to submit a licence application. He was found guilty in his absence and magistrates ordered him to pay £692 cost and a victim surcharge of £66.

Cllr Lynda Thorne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Cardiff Council, the single licensing authority for Rent Smart Wales, said: "Self-managing landlords in Wales must realise that registering with Rent Smart Wales is not enough to comply with the law. They are also required to pass training and submit a licence application.

"Anyone who carries out letting or property management duties needs a licence. Enforcement powers have been active for some time now and we are tracking down and prosecuting individuals who aren't licensed.

"Training can help people to become better landlords and of course by becoming licensed, landlords will be complying with the law and will avoid prosecution. So it's important for landlords to complete the registration and licensing process as soon as they can."

A further two landlords were fined at Cardiff Magistrates Court for failing to comply with Rent Smart Wales.

Vale of Glamorgan landlord Anthony Thomas pleaded guilty to managing his 10 rental properties without a licence and must pay a total of £665 while Lee Jones of Albion Road, Port Talbot also pleaded guilty for failing to register or become licensed and must pay a total of £430.

Cllr Thorne added: "A conviction for a self-managing landlord has serious consequences as a condition of obtaining a licence is that someone is fit and proper to carry out letting and management activities. All those who continue to operate without a licence are putting their future business at risk."