The Housing (Wales) Act 2014
From today, the Act will introduce new obligations on landlords and agents. Rent Smart Wales, the brand name for the new registration and licensing requirements under Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 will be launched on 23 November 2015.
Landlords who need to register, and landlords and agents who need to become licensed, will be able to register and apply for a licence from this date. They will have 12 months from 23 November 2015 in which to comply with the new legislation. During this first year there will be a focus on raising awareness of the new requirements and encouraging compliance.
Rent Smart Wales
The name for the new Welsh Government licensing scheme for Landlords in Wales is Rent Smart. The aim of the legislation is to:
- Improve standards of letting and management practice in the private rented sector in Wales.
- Raise the awareness of Landlords, Agents and Tenants of their respective rights and responsibilities.
- Purpose: Rent Smart Wales will replace the existing voluntary Landlord Accreditation Wales scheme, which has been operated by Cardiff Council on behalf of all local authorities in Wales.
- Timescale: Registering Landlords and granting licenses will start from 23rd November 2015. A full year will be given before enforcement powers come in to force from Autumn 2016.
- Registration: All private Landlords who have a rental property in Wales must register themselves and the addresses of their rental properties in Wales.
- Licensing: Landlords who undertake defined letting or property management activities at a rental property in Wales must apply for a license. If a Landlord instructs an Agent to do such work on their behalf, it is that Agent who must become licensed.
- Training: In order to get a license a person must be adequately trained, and also declare themselves ‘fit and proper’. Licensing training will be offered through Rent Smart Wales or people can choose to attend Rent Smart Wales approved training courses delivered by other bodies.
- Enforcement: It is expected that enforcement will take the form of fixed penalty notices and possibly prosecutions for non-compliance.
If you have any questions or need advice on this, please get in touch! – 01633 678545