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Landlords: are you ready for Rent Smart Wales?

If you’re a landlord in Wales, there are big changes on the way to how you will have to manage your property.

On Tuesday 14 July, Housing Minister Lesley Griffiths unveiled Rent Smart Wales, the brand for the new landlord and agent registration and licensing scheme which comes into effect this autumn.

From this autumn:

  • all private landlords will be required to register with Rent Smart Wales. They will also have to register their properties
  • if a landlord wants to manage the property themselves, they must demonstrate they are ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence, and undertake training
  • alternatively, they will be able to appoint a licensed agent to manage the property on their behalf.

The changes come in as a direct result of The Housing (Wales) Act 2014, designed to improve letting and management standards for people who rent private accommodation across Wales.

The legislation means Wales will become the first country in the UK where managing landlords and agents will need to undertake training to ensure they are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

In the words of the Housing Minister, “We know approximately 184,000 homes in Wales – around one in seven – are now privately rented. With so many people renting, a strong sector with good working practices is absolutely essential.

“The new legislation we are introducing will not only improve the situation for tenants – informing them of their rights and responsibilities – it will also help good landlords by improving the sector’s reputation.”

Says Jamie Langley, MD of Red Key Property Services, “It is fantastic that Wales is leading the way on an initiative that will raise the bar for the way properties are managed. The reputation of the letting sector is all too often damaged by poor landlords or unqualified agents.

“The private rented sector continues to grow apace, and huge numbers of people are affected by this. Ensuring the people who let a property are properly trained can even save lives.

“From the perspective of landlords who simply want to let out a property and not be bothered with too much day to day management, of course, this will mean additional involvement – but the alternative is there of going to a properly licensed agent, who should more than pay for their fees by ensuring their property is fully let and efficiently managed.”

 

 

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