Rent Smart Wales has been in operation for well over a year now, and it’s fair to say it has experienced a few teething issues.
With a scheme this size some issues were inevitable, but others were avoidable. For example, Rent Smart Wales witnessed a sudden rush last November as landlords clambered to get their licences approved before the enforcement deadline.
Incentivising early compliance by starting the life of the license from the date of enforcement, rather than the date of issue would have been a simple way to get more landlords and agents to sign up to the scheme sooner. Instead, what we saw was landlords and agents putting off applying for a license during the first year of non-enforcement because there was no incentive for complying early.
From mundane to downright strange, our Landlord Advice Team experience a huge variety of phone calls here at the RLA, but Rent Smart Wales has certainly provided us with a few interesting and complicated cases over the last year.
Our members, thankfully, are not shy about telling us what they think about the Welsh licensing scheme. Members directly feed into the work we do to help shape renting in Wales by sharing their first-hand insights, their troubles, and their advice about common sense solutions.
Rent Smart Wales will continue to evolve as it works out the kinks that inevitably arise from rushed and not well-vetted regulatory measures. Best solutions come directly from those on the ground. So, we ask you: if you could change one thing about Rent Smart Wales, what would it be?
1) You can’t scrap the scheme or sack any officials.
2) It can’t cost a fortune. If your idea requires money, where is it going to come from?
3) You can only change one thing – the best policies are often the simplest.