The new name of the legislation that all Welsh Landlords and Letting Agents must follow. The Welsh Government announced on the 23 November 2015 that Rent Smart Wales from this date, will be introduced and means that anyone who owns and rents out private property in Wales, will have to register with the Central Licensing Authority, Cardiff County Council, where a Rent Smart Wales Team, website (www.rentsmart.gov.wales) and helpline will provide assistance is now live. The scheme was brought in by the Welsh Government with the objective of raising the standards in the private rented sector across Wales. This new legislation will see Wales become the first country in the UK where managing Landlords and Agents are obliged to undertake training, to ensure that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
There are 2 requirements:
(1) Registration (Registering as a Landlord) and (2) Licensing (to manage properties)
Every Landlord, even if you do not find tenants or manage properties yourself, using a Letting Agent, will be required to register.
The purpose of the register is to identify rented properties and assist local authorities with information dissemination. The register will not be public information, but Tenants and Letting Agents will have the ability to verify Landlords who have registered. It should be noted that, if a Landlord is not registered, the Letting Agent will not be in a position to list the property to rent.
As a Landlord, if you perform any property management, you must be licensed, but if you use an Agent, then it is the Agent who must be licensed. In order to apply for the licence, you must:
Once the above have been completed and the application submitted, it will be assessed to determine if a licence can be granted. Once the licence is granted, it will last for 5 years and applicants must keep their information up to date and comply with the conditions of the licence. Adhering to the Code of Practice will always be one of the conditions.
Similar to Landlords, Letting Agents must also obtain a licence. Strict requirements are in place on Agents applying for a licence, including:
Although the new legislation started on the 23 November 2015, Landlords and Letting Agents will have 12 months in which to comply with the new legislation. During these 12 months, there will be a focus on raising awareness of the new requirements and encouraging compliance. After this date, penalties and fines will come into effect.
Kelvin Francis Rentals are well placed to comply with the new legislation and are happy to advise existing Landlords (Managed or Tenant Find Only Landlords) with any queries or concerns regarding the new legislation. Also, if you are a private Landlord and need assistance, please contact our Kelvin Francis Rental Team on 02920 766538 option 2 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice, with no obligation.