Landlords based outside of Wales could fall foul of new Rent Smart Wales rules due to a total lack of awareness regarding the scheme.
Experts at the Cardiff office of Bruton Knowles have voiced concerns that landlords may face prosecution after failing to meet the registration deadline for the scheme on the 23rd November 2016. Difficulties registering on the scheme’s website, alongside a lack of proactive campaigning outside of Wales could have led to several well meaning landlords caught out despite being legally obliged to pay.
Caroline Jones from Bruton Knowles said: ‘The enforcement powers under Rent Smart Wales are now active. This means failure to comply with the legislation is an offence. However, we know of numerous cases of people living outside of Wales who had no idea on the new Rent Smart scheme. Our fear is that there are many landlords out there who are blissfully unaware of their legal obligation.’
The issue is particularly prevalent for private landlords, as those working through a letting agent may have been made aware of the scheme through that connection. Tenants have been advised to contact their landlords, or Rent Smart Wales if there is concern that they are unregistered.
Caroline continued: “One final consideration is how will Rent Smart Wales enforce any fines on those who genuinely didn’t know they had to register. We can see a lot of resistance by those who will claim they didn’t know anything about the scheme.’
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