Wefan Gymraeg

Minister must act to avoid Rent Smart Wales ‘flop’

Information published this week shows that the Welsh Government’s flagship scheme to drive up standards of rented accommodation in Wales, Rent Smart Wales, is still lagging behind.

Compulsory registration was introduced by Welsh Ministers in the face of fierce opposition by landlords and their representatives. Landlords had a year to register from 23rd November 2015, when the scheme opened for applications.

The estimated total number of private landlords in Wales is between 70,000 and 130,000, and information published this week shows that only 15,670 landlords have registered with Rent Smart Wales.

Commenting, Welsh Lib Dem Spokesperson for Housing, Cllr Peter Black, said:

“It’s likely that this scheme will be an embarrassing flop from day one, yet the Minister has been complacent in addressing the poor take up.

“The Minister must change tack. Starting with extending the registration deadline the approach has to be to work with letting agents and local authorities to bring landlords on board, just as originally the RLA originally advised.

“If the Government does not act quickly Rent Smart Wales runs the risk of becoming a scheme that will do nothing to raise the standards for the vast majority of renters in Wales.”

As part of the Progressive Agreement between Welsh Lib Dem Education Secretary Kirsty Williams and the First Minister, the Welsh Government will bring forward Welsh Lib Dem proposals to fund 20,000 extra affordable homes over this Assembly term.


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