A Neath landlord has been fined for failing to become licensed under the Rent Smart Wales scheme.
Richard Howells pleaded guilty and was fined £687 at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court for offences under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
Rent Smart Wales is the Welsh Government registration and licensing scheme for all private landlords and agents with properties in Wales. Enforcement powers have been active since November 23, 2016.
Following the successful prosecution, a spokesperson for Cardiff Council, the single licensing authority for Wales, warned that landlords who continue to ignore the law will be found and prosecuted.
The spokesperson said: “Rent Smart Wales regularly receives reports about unregistered properties and landlords who own or manage properties without being registered and licensed. This prosecution shows that we will find out about those individuals who think they are under the radar.
“We work with local authorities across Wales to identify unregistered properties and landlords who aren’t complying and get in contact to remind them of their legal obligations. As these prosecutions show, there are clearly those who ignore the warnings but enforcement activity is gaining momentum and we will take action.”
Cllr Des Davies, Neath Port Talbot Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Public Protection said: “The deadline to comply with the Rent Smart Wales passed some time ago and now with Rent Smart Wales enforcement officers, we are now actively seeking out people who have made no attempt to comply with the law and will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those landlords who seek to avoid complying with the Welsh Government’s legislation”
“This prosecution sends a strong message to other non-compliant landlords or agents letting out properties in Neath Port Talbot. Landlords who continue to flout the law will be dealt with and will find it extremely difficult to carry out their duties without being registered and/or licensed.”
Mr Howells of Dan Y Graig Terrace, Cadoxton, Neath pleaded guilty to failing to obtain a license for letting and managing a property at Dan Y Bryn, Tonna, Neath.
Following reports of the unregistered property to Rent Smart Wales, officers contacted Mr Howells and he proceeded to register. However, he did not submit a completed licence application and was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Mr Howells failed to pay the notice resulting in the prosecution for three offences including failure to provide information about the rental address under Section 37 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
Magistrates fined Mr Howells £687 and ordered him to pay £200 costs.