More landlords than letting agents are facing the wrath of Rent Smart Wales

Just three Welsh letting agents have had their licences revoked in the first years of the Rent Smart Wales scheme.

Under the scheme since November 2016, all lettings agents and landlords must be licensed.

Any landlords self-managing their property must also register with Rent Smart Wales.

Data provided to EYE shows that Rent Smart Wales, which is administered by Cardiff Council, has refused 27 licence applications so far, all of which have been landlords rather than letting agents.

Six self-managing landlords have also been refused licenses, while seven have been revoked, of which three were letting agents.

The latest Rent Smart Wales enforcement figures as of January show it has issued 500 fixed penalty notices, with 62 convictions.

The most common reason for the issue of a fixed penalty notice was because the landlord had failed to obtain a licence.

It comes after Rent Smart Wales refused a landlord’s application for a licence due to the state of the properties.

Derrick Morgan had applied for a licence in February 2018 but his properties were investigated by Rent Smart Wales after concerns were raised by Neath Port Talbot Council about the condition of the homes and treatment of tenants.

His licence was refused in July 2018 but an appeal he submitted was heard this January and subsequently rejected earlier this month.

Rent Smart Wales had found that he was renting out 12 properties including a static caravan, several of which were having work carried out on them.

The report said that in some cases tenants were not occupying the properties but were still being charged rents.

The tribunal also heard that there had been three separate complaints of harassment and 11 of illegal eviction against Morgan, all of which he denied.

Questions were raised about the quality of the properties as well as links to Morgan’s son Ryan who had a previous conviction for drug possession.

The tribunal report said tenants had come to Morgan after being “homeless, sleeping on park benches or had come to him via government units.”

He told the tribunal that his properties “are not the Ritz” but said he provides housing to those who would otherwise have nowhere to live.

The Rent Smart Wales scheme is thought to provide a template for Westminster in drawing up similar requirements for English letting agents and landlords to be licensed and regulated on a national basis.

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