CHANGE IN REGULATION
BRINGS LANDLORD LICENSING TO WALES
Lettings expert, Hannah McCartan, Director of multi-award winning agency MCCARTAN LETTINGS, addresses the need for Landlords with property in Wales to plan now before it becomes a criminal offence to manage a property without a licence
The Housing (Wales) Act which gained Royal assent in September 2014 will require all Landlords and Agents who intend to carry out any practical letting or management activities or work at rental properties in Wales to apply for a licence. It will be a criminal offence not to have a licence after the Act comes into force.
There are many issues here for Landlords who let property in Wales to be concerned about. Firstly, there is the timescale for this to be implemented. Although a date is not set yet, it is widely suspected that it will come into force on the 1st October 2015 which does not leave a lot of time for Landlords to get organised with this! The good news is that there will be a lead in time of about 6 months after the Act comes into before action is taken against Landlords, but it is wiser to plan ahead now.
Secondly, the key elements of the Act are Landlords and Agents who intend to carry out any practical letting or management activities or work at rental properties – this means anyone who is involved in any aspect of the letting and management process is affected. Even a Landlord who has a managing agent may require a licence if they wish to arrange maintenance themselves.
Finally, many Landlords are not aware of this new legislation and without a doubt in the first few months after the grace period has expired, the Licensing Authority will be keen to make examples of Landlords who are not compliant with the Act by imposing heavy penalties.
Landlords who opt for a fully managed service with a licenced Agent will need to be registered, but will not need to be licensed. This affects all Landlords with rental property in Wales, so even if you live outside of Wales the Act will still apply.
In order to get a licence you will need to ensure you:
Are a fit and proper person
Undertake a day’s training course with Landlord Accreditation Wales
Register each property they rent in Wales
Register their own details
Pay a licensing fee
Once licences have been obtained they should be valid for 5 years. For more information about training days, visit www.welshlandlords.org.uk
Established for over 8 years, McCartan Lettings & Property Management are a multi-award winning, independent letting agency, where their customer care policy is at the forefront of business. They specialize in providing quality accommodation to professional tenants across Swansea and expert advice for Landlords.
For more information about how these changes affect you and your rental investment, speak to Hannah at MCCARTAN LETTINGS for a FREE informative chat