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Rent Smart Wales launched

A new registration and licensing scheme for private landlords and agents in Wales came into effect on Monday November 23. Here’s what’s happening.

Rent Smart logo (col)The key part of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 means that everyone 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 new type of licence.

The new legislation sees 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.

In summary:

  • All private landlords will be legally required to register with Rent Smart Wales and will also have to register their properties
  • Whoever manages the property, the landlord or an appointed agent, must become licensed, they must demonstrate they are ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence and undertake approved training
  • Once they are part of the Rent Smart Wales scheme, landlords and agents must keep their information up-to-date and comply with all requirements.

Landlords and agents have one year to comply with their new legal obligations, without fear of legal action.

Communities and tackling poverty minister Lesley Griffiths said:

‘I am proud Wales is leading the way on improving professionalism across the private rented sector. Our new, landmark scheme will drive up standards by making Wales the first country in the UK where managing landlords and agents are required to undertake training to ensure they are clear on their responsibilities.

‘The changes will prevent rogue, and even criminal, landlords and agents from being involved in the management and letting of properties. This will help to protect tenants in the private rented sector – including students, lone parents and young families.

‘Rent Smart Wales will also support good landlords and agents by helping them keep abreast of their responsibilities and legal obligations, and raising the reputation of the sector as a whole.’

The City of Cardiff Council is the licensing authority for Rent Smart Wales. Cabinet member for environment Cllr Bob Derbyshire said:

‘As the Single Licensing Authority for Rent Smart Wales, the Council is delighted to be working with Welsh Government to deliver these important new registration and licensing requirements.

‘Wales really is setting the standard with Rent Smart Wales, which will professionalise the private rented sector – an increasingly important housing option for many people.’

To register for updates and learn more visit www.rentsmart.gov.wales

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