SPOTLIGHT ON LETTINGS
Change in Regulations brings Landlord Licencing to Wales
Lettings expert, Hannah McCartan, Director of multi-award winning agency McCARTAN LETTINGS, explains that changes to regulation in Wales will require all Landlords to be registered and if they manage their own property, a licence.
The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 gained Royal assent in September 2014 which 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.
It is widely suspected that it will come into force in October this year.
Hannah says “Many Landlords are currently unaware of this new regulation, which is why it is so important for us as a professional letting agency to get as much information as we have out to as many Landlords as possible.
Once the Act comes into force, there will be a grace period of about a year for Landlords to get themselves registered and licenced, however after this time the Licencing Authorities will be keen to set examples of Landlords who choose to ignore this new law.”
This Act affects – 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 will require a licence. Even a Landlord who has a managing agent may require a licence if they wish to arrange maintenance themselves.
Agents too will need to be licenced and every member of their staff will need to be trained.
“McCartan Lettings have been pro-regulation for lettings since the company was founded in 2006. Regulation of Letting Agents ensures that Landlords
can have full confidence in their Agent. Any Agent who is not licenced after the Act comes into force will not be allowed to trade.”
Landlords who opt for a fully managed service with a licenced Agent will need to be registered, but will not need to be licenced. 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
Register each property they rent in Wales
Register their own details
Pay a fee – cost to be confirmed in due course
More information will be released soon on where training days will be taking place and hopefully there will be some online options too. Once licences have been obtained they should be valid for 5 years. For more information about this Act, visit www.assembly.wales
ALSO IN THE NEWS….
Immigration & Right to Rent Checks
In the run up to the election, immigration and Right to Rent checks were at the top of the Government’s agenda and although only briefly mentioned in the Queen’s speech last month, they are becoming the more controversial pieces of legislation being put forward. So what is the Government actually wanting Landlords to be responsible for?
Essentially the government has seen a way where Landlords and Agents can assist in their immigration issues by requiring landlords to check whether or not someone should be allowed to be in the country, (immigration checks) and therefore do they then have a right to rent a property? Ultimately if they don’t have a right to rent, then they shouldn’t be in the country.
But don’t get caught out under the Discrimina-tion Act if the immigration checks come into effect, it could be quite easy to inadvertently be caught out discriminating against some people and not others, by not asking everyone to prove their nationality, even if they are British.
Due to the already comprehensive referencing structure McCartan Lettings already have in place, applying additional checks are not too onerous for us, however it will be important for all Landlords to be aware that they will be responsible for ensuring the immigration and right to rent checks have been undertaken, whether they use a letting agent or privately rent out their property and do their own checks. We have already put a system in place to request a copy of each tenant and occupier’s passport (even if they are of British Nationality) to mitigate any potential issues arising from this proposed new legislation.
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 specialise 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.
McCartan Letting & Property Management Specialists
436 Gower Road, Killay, Swansea SA2 7AJ
Tel: 01792 430100 Email: email@example.com Web: www.mccartanlettings.co.uk