Cardiff Council red-faced after RSW data slip

Rent Smart Wales data slip reveals names and email addresses of hundreds of unregistered landlords.

The embarrassing slip came after the scheme attempted to contact landlords who had started the registration process, but not yet completed it – however rather than hiding the contact details of all of the email recipients, they were made visible to everyone who received it.

Cardiff Council, who handle Rent Smart Wales has commented that they are aware of the issue and that it is being investigated in line with the council’s data protection policies.

Of the 208,000 private rental properties in Wales, it is estimated that only 65% of them were registered with the scheme by the deadline on 23rd November 2016. This has left thousands of landlords falling foul of the new regulation. However, there has been significant criticism of the way data has been handled within the scheme, and there are calls for stricter security and protection of landlord’s personal information.

We have long been warning of the need for greater security around the Rent Smart scheme to prevent this kind of error occurring. With landlords and letting agents expected to register by law, they need to have the confidence that their personal details will be handled sensitively. Whilst we are sure this was an innocent mistake and a simple case of human error, we would like to see measures put in place to ensure it cannot happen again.

Douglas Haig, director for Wales for the Residential Landlords Association

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