Landlords and agents of private residential property in Wales are required by law to be registered or licenced, along with their portfolio of property. This follows the introduction in November 2015 of the Welsh Government’s Rent Smart Wales scheme, the first of its kind in the UK.
Under the Scheme, landlords and agents will have up to one year to comply with their new legal obligations, without fear of legal action being taken against them by local authorities and the licensing authority, City of Cardiff Council.
The registration and licensing process can be completed either online at www.rentsmart.gov.wales or over the telephone, contact 03000 133344.
The Scheme will require landlords to:
- pass a ‘fit and proper person’ check
- undertake approved training
- pay a registration / licensing fee (see website for fee structure)
Alternatively, landlords will be able to appoint a licensed agent to manage the property on their behalf, but will remain involved with the process.
The Scheme will also:
- prevent rogue landlords and agents from letting and managing properties in Wales
- raise awareness by landlords, agents and tenants of their respective rights and responsibilities
- allow councils for the first time to fully identify all of the private rented properties within their local area, making it easier for them to work closely with landlords on ensuring high rental standards are being met
- replace the existing voluntary Landlord Accreditation Wales scheme, with those members accredited under it transferring over to the new system
“Wales really is setting the standard with Rent Smart Wales, which will professionalise the private rented sector - an increasingly important housing option for many people.” Cllr Bob Derbyshire, City of Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Environment
“This new scheme (Rent Smart Wales) is a welcome addition to the enforcement options already available, and we hope it will help local councils work more closely with landlords and lettings agents to improve services for tenants in the private rented sector in Wales.” Cllr Dyfed Edwards (Gwynedd), WLGA spokesperson for housing
“By supporting and educating landlords and agents for the benefit of tenants, Rent Smart Wales aims to improve the practices of landlords and agents and help to tackle the bad landlords who give the sector a poor reputation.” Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Welsh Government
For more information contact: Jim McKirdle