Letting Agent Must Pay £4,500 for Flouting Rent Smart Wales Licence
Letting agent watchdogs are vowing to get tough with firms that fail to comply with their Rent Smart Wales licence conditions.
The warning comes after Robert Bistula, director of Easy Rent in City Road, Cardiff, ignored official requests to supply information about the properties he rented out for landlords and evidence the firm had signed up to a client money protection scheme.
The requests were issued after a team of Rent Smart investigators visited the agency and decided urgent action was needed to meet the licensing conditions. After several adjournments, Cardiff Magistrates Court found Bistula guilty of failing to provide information to Rent Smart Wales.
He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,570 costs.
Letting agents in Wales are issued a five-year licence; the conditions include agreeing to an audit during the licence term.
Councillor Lynda Thorne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Cardiff Council, the single licensing authority for Rent Smart Wales, said:
“Agent audits are an important tool for Rent Smart Wales to ensure commercial letting agents are complying with the conditions of their licence and the code of practice.
“They are intended to make sure agents are providing a high quality, professional service and meeting all of their legal obligations and in doing so, are protecting the interests of tenants and landlords and contributing towards a continuous improvement culture in the private rented sector in Wales.
“As this case shows, enforcement action will be taken against agents whose non-compliance is highlighted as a result of an audit. Failure to engage with the audit process may result in a licence being revoked, so it is essential that agents ensure their house is in order in terms of their business practices and compliance with Rent Smart Wales.”
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Understand the registration and licensing process under Rent Smart Wales. Our guide helps landlords and agents navigate the requirements and stay compliant.