A survey suggests two thirds of tenants in Wales know nothing of the new Rent Smart Wales initiative to register and license landlords and letting agents in the country.
A National Landlords Association survey reveals remarkably low levels of awareness about this new mandatory scheme for landlords and agents, which requires training, registration and licensing.
Landlords and agents now have 12 months in which to comply with the new legislation, which was enacted yesterday.
Although when explained to them, tenants felt strongly that it would make them more confident about renting, and may well improve the quality of housing stock to let, a remarkable 65 per cent knew nothing of the Welsh government initiative.
The NLA is also warning that without proper resources to enforce the legislation - especially after this one-year introductory period - the scheme will be ineffective.
“As the licensing authority, Cardiff city council must start working with other local authorities from the outset in order to fine and prosecute those who fail to comply within the year’s grace period. Without proper enforcement the scheme will do nothing to stop criminals in the sector but as yet we’ve seen no detail about how Cardiff plans to do this” says NLA chief executive Richard Lambert.
“Unless they’re quick off the mark, come next November, there’s a real danger that Rent Smart Wales will amount to little more than just a list of names and it will quickly lose the confidence of tenants who expect it to make a difference” he warns.