Special Report Nick Clay 11/01/2021

Rent Smart Wales: Financial surplus - accountability deficit

This report examines the performance of Rent Smart Wales (RSW), the national property registration and licensing scheme covering landlords and agents in the PRS.

The report, Rent Smart Wales: The Accountability Gap, published by the NRLA representing over 85,000 members across England & Wales, was undertaken to evaluate RSW’s performance as it marks its fifth anniversary. At this point most landlords and agents will be renewing their registrations and licences for the next business cycle.

The main conclusions of the report include:

  • RSW has an accountability deficit and lacks transparency;
  • There is no regular evaluation of RSW, limiting service improvements;
  • RSW suffers from the absence of a central, guiding strategy for the private rented sector (PRS) in Wales;
  • RSW has not engaged well enough with landlords, tenants, or local authorities;
  • Landlords are paying in more than they get out of RSW; and
  • In meeting its objectives, RSW’s record has been far from stellar despite meeting a number of its targets for participation.

Rent Smart Wales is likely to make a surplus over its first business cycle.  These revenues go to the Welsh Government. The report outlines how these revenues could be retained by Rent Smart Wales and used to raise the experience for all stakeholders in the PRS.

The report also makes a strong case for increasing the accountability of Rent Smart Wales and the need for a proper evaluation framework against which the organisation's performance and its impact on the PRS can be measured. 

A more detailed summary of the report, can be found here

Rent Smart Wales - The Accountability Gap

Last updated: 07/01/2021 at 15:30 - 751.98 KB