A new law for landlords and letting agents is being introduced today in an attempt to raise standards in the private rented sector in Wales.
The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 Part 1 requires all landlords and letting agents to become registered and licenced over the next 12 months.
This new legislation replaces the existing voluntary Landlord Accreditation Wales scheme.
What are the aims of this new legislation?
‘Educating Welsh landlords and agents to improve private renting for all.’
The aim of the act is to create a comprehensive register of the private rented sector in Wales. This will ensure that those persons involved in letting and managing rental properties are suitably trained to carry out these activities.
This information on properties, landlords and agents will then be readily available for local authorities to assist with strategic intervention.
In part, it is intended that this new legislation will raise awareness amongst landlords and agents of their rights and responsibilities, and in turn raise awareness amongst tenants of the same. Altogether, it is hoped that the new legislation will result in the improvement of standards in letting and management practice.
Who needs to become licenced?
- All private landlords who have a rental property in Wales
- Landlords who undertake defined letting or property management activities at a rental property in Wales
- Agents who have been instructed to carry out defined letting or property management activities at a rental property in Wales
How do I get a license?
In order to get a license, a person or agent must first be adequately trained and declare themselves ‘fit and proper’.
The training, which will be administered through Rent Smart Wales, will provide landlords and agents with relevant, up to date information and professional development opportunities to enable them to successfully manage tenancies within the law and ensure all rented accommodation is kept in good repair.
Licences for the whole of Wales will be issued by Cardiff County Council, and once licensed, landlords and agents will be expected to abide by the statutory requirements set out by the Rent Smart Wales Code of Practice. This will contain a Best Practice Guide to help those who wish to go above and beyond the minimum requirements of the law.
What if I don’t comply?
Landlords and letting agents will have 12 months to obtain their license. Any landlords and agents found to be ignoring their obligation after the 23 November 2016 will have action taken against them by the local authorities. Enforcement actions will include fixed penalty notices and prosecutions.
To find out more about how to register, please see the Rent Smart Wales website.
Get Help with Landlord and Tenant Law
Howells Solicitors offers a complete range of services for landlords. Whether you are a full-time landlord with a large portfolio or are simply letting a room in your own home, we can help.
From drawing up tenancy agreements to offering advice on disputes, rent arrears and the eviction process, our expert solicitors are available to assist you in managing the risks involved in letting your property.
Get in touch today on 0808 178 2773 to find out more about how we can be of assistance.
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