SPOTLIGHT ON LETTINGS
Rent Smart Wales launches ahead of Landlord Licensing in October
Advises lettings expert Hannah McCartan, McCartan Lettings, Killay
‘RENT SMART WALES’ HAS NOW BEEN LAUNCHED BY HOUSING MINISTER LESLEY GRIFFITHS AHEAD OF THE HOUSING (WALES) ACT 2014 COMING INTO EFFECT THIS OCTOBER
The new website is informative and easy to use and ready for Landlords to register their email addresses for updates, but as yet it is not fully operational to register Landlords details and properties.
It is intended that the legislation will result in:
Improved standards of letting and management practice in the private rented sector
More information on Landlords available for Tenant verification and for local authorities to assist with strategic intervention and dissemination of information
Raised awareness by Landlords and Agents of their respective rights and responsibilities
In turn, raised awareness by tenants of their respective rights and responsibilities
HERE IS A BRIEF OUTLINE OF WHAT THIS NEW LAW IS ABOUT:
The legislation – The Housing (Wales) Act 2014– gained Royal Assent last September and is due to come into effect this October. It will be a legal requirement for any person who is involved in the day-to-day running of a rental property in Wales to obtain a licence or alternatively, Landlords can instruct a licensed Letting Agent. All Landlords must be registered either way.
So who does it affect?
Every Landlord who lets out a residential property in Wales is affected by this legislation. It will be a legal requirement for all Landlords to be registered and those who manage their own properties and Agents who manage on behalf of Landlords, to be licensed.
There will be a lead in time of 12 months before any action will be taken against Landlords and Agents who do not comply.
Am I a Landlord?
If you own a property that is not your main residence, that you receive an income on (however minimal) then you are considered a Landlord. Even if you do not have a ‘contract’ in place, the Housing & Tenants Act still applies and its statutory requirements. If you own a property with someone else, both of you will need to register.
Do I need a Licence?
Landlords who manage their own properties, (even if they let to a family member or friend) or have any type of interest in managing the property (such as arranging repairs) will need a licence.
How do I get a Licence?
In order to get a licence you will need to register on the new Rent Smart Wales website and ensure you:
Are a fit and proper person
Undertake a day’s training course (welshlandlords.org)
Register each property you rent in Wales
Register your own details
Pay a licensing fee (yet to be set)
Once licences have been obtained they should be valid for 5 years.
What if I have a Managed Service?
You will still need to register your details and your property with Rent Smart Wales but you will not need to obtain a licence. Your Letting Agent will require a licence and every member of their staff will have been required to undertake training in order for the company to have obtained the licence.
The team at McCartan Lettings have all undergone the training, are Accredited with Landlord Accreditation Wales and should be one of the first Agents to obtain the licence in Swansea when it becomes available.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to discuss how this legislation affects you, please do not hesitate in giving us a call on 01792 430100. Alternatively if you have a friend or relative with a rental property in Wales, please share this article with them.