Rent Smart Wales has launched – have you registered?

November 24, 2015

New Law for Welsh Landlords and Letting Agents is here!

Rent Smart Wales, the new registration and licensing scheme set up for landlords and letting agents in Wales,  launched yesterday.

The law itself means that anyone who owns and rents out private property in Wales will have to register with the central licensing authority via Rent Smart Wales. All managing landlords and agents will also have to obtain a licence.

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 they are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Landlord Registration

Every Landlord, even if you don’t find tenants or manage properties yourself, will be required to register.

  • You can register online at www.rentsmart.gov.wales or via paper application form
  • You will need to provide your name, address, rental property, contact details and date of birth
  • To complete the registration process you will be required to pay a fee. If you complete it online the fee will be £33.50 and if you complete the paper form the fee rises to £80.50
  • Once you have registered you must ensure you keep your correspondence information and property address up to date

The purpose of the register is to identify rented properties and assist local authorities with information dissemination. The register won’t be public information, but tenants will have the ability to verify landlords against it.

Landlord Licensing

If you find tenants and/or manage at least one property yourself (i.e. collect rent, organise safety certificates, arrange maintenance), you will also be required to obtain a licence or appoint a licenced agent. In order to apply for the licence you must:

  • Undertake approved training. Licensing training will be offered through Rent Smart Wales or you can choose to attend Rent Smart Wales approved training courses delivered by other bodies
  • Complete the ‘fit and proper’ declaration
  • Pay the £144.00 fee. You can currently only apply for the licence via paper application but once the online application becomes available the fee to apply via paper application will increase to £186.00 and to apply online will remain at £144.00

Once the above has 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, 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.

Agent Licensing

Just like landlords, letting agents must also obtain a licence. Strict requirements are in place on agents applying for a licence, including:

  • > Ensuring every member of staff has received approved training
  • > Complete the ‘fit and proper’ declaration
  • > Pay the licence fee of £3,728.00

Landlords and letting agents will now have 12 months from today in which to comply with the new legislation.

The scheme was bought in by the Welsh Government earlier in the year with the objective of raising the standards of the private rented sector across the country. As previously highlighted, Northwood are strong supporters of the new laws and appreciate the many benefits of the scheme.

Northwood Cardiff are perfectly placed to comply with the new legislation having already become voluntary members of the Landlord Accreditation Scheme Wales (LAW). Northwood Cardiff were the first agency to become accredited under the voluntary scheme which began in 2008.

You can contact our Cardiff office for free advice on 02920 301141 or email cardiff@northwooduk.com.

Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised lettings agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.

Find us on Twitter @northwoodUK or visit our YouTube Channel.

 

 

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