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Rental licence operators threaten 'sensible, proportionate' enforcement

The controversial Welsh private lettings sector scheme called Rent Smart Wales had around 65 per cent of agents and landlords register by last week’s deadline - but a statement from the operators is already referring to enforcement action.

Data received by the BBC suggests that by the November 23 deadline some 89,130 online accounts had been created with 64,248 licence registrations submitted; a further 13,208 applications have been started but not completed.

A statement from the Welsh Government calculates that the part- and complete applications add up to some 65 per cent of the estimated 208,000 private rental properties in the principality.  

To comply with the rules under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, all agents and landlords operating in the principality had to register with the scheme by applying to its central unit based at the premises of Cardiff city council. Agents were also required to take a training course from a registered provider prior to their application being completed. 

A statement to the BBC by Rent Smart Wales said: "Our team of enforcement officers will be working in partnership with local authorities across Wales and priority for action will be those landlords/agents who have failed to start the process of complying with the legislation. Enforcement powers will now be used in a sensible and proportionate manner."

Registration costs range from £33.50 to £80.50 and licences last for five years. There is a public register of those properties registered.

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