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Scheme is ‘not so smart’

 
Created on 16/11/2016 @ 05:42
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A scheme created to regulate landlords across Wales has been branded as ‘not so smart’ by one local man who rents out his house.

The new Rent Smart scheme requires anyone who rents out property in Wales to register or become licensed by November 23.

But the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) said many were still unaware they need to do so. Rent Smart Wales said landlords were given a year to register and it would not extend the deadline.

A Freedom of Information request by the RLA showed just 32,230 out of 130,000 landlords had registered by 18 October - those who do not comply can be fined.

However, one local man who has registered has criticised the process after being charged twice.

“My son has registered with Rent Smart Wales as he has one property on the rental market,” said Bryan Owen, of Welshpool.

“He experienced problems when he registered on-line about one month ago when they took two registration payments out of his bank account when they should have only taken one.

“For the past two weeks he has tried to contact them by phone continuously only to have a recorded message saying that there is a 30-minute wait whatever time of day you phone.

“They also state that there is a 10 working days for a response for an email.”

Meanwhile, a Rent Smart Wales spokesman said about the slow take up: “We have no intention of extending the deadline. However, we do recognise that, due to the very high numbers of landlords visiting the website to register and apply for licenses, some are experiencing difficulties.

“The Rent Smart Wales team consists of 79 posts and the team are working hard to reduce waiting times for customers.

“Once the November 23 deadline for complying has passed, enforcement powers will be used in a sensible and proportionate manner.”

 

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