New law sees Wales as first part of UK to introduce training for landlords and agents
Rent Smart Wales. A new law that is being introduced this autumn which will affect all private sector landlords and housing agents in Wales. Everyone who owns and rents out private property in Wales will have to register with a central licensing authority and obtain a new type of licence under a new law from this autumn. It means that Wales will become the first part of the UK where managing landlords and agents will need to undertake training to ensure they are aware of their rights and responsibilities. The new Rent Smart Wales scheme aims to raise standards in the private rented sector and will replace the existing voluntary Landlord Accreditation Wales scheme, which has been operated by Cardiff Council on behalf of all local authorities in Wales. It is intended that the new legislation will also result in raised awareness by landlords and agents of their respective rights and responsibilities and in turn, raised awareness by tenants of their respective rights and responsibilities. All private landlords who have a rental property in Wales must register themselves and the addresses of their rental properties in Wales and those who undertake defined letting or property management activities at a rental property in Wales must apply for a licence. If a landlord instructs an agent to do such work on their behalf, it is that agent who must become licensed and in order to get a licence a person must be adequately trained, and also declare themselves ‘fit and proper’. Licensing training will be offered through Rent Smart Wales or people can choose to attend Rent Smart Wales approved training courses delivered by other bodies. Will we see the same in the rest of the UK any time soon?