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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. The Welsh minister with responsibility for housing, Lesley Griffiths, is encouraging landlords and agents to subscribe for important news and information ahead of the changes. ‘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,’ she said. ‘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,’ she explained. ‘When Rent Smart Wales is introduced this autumn, it will provide a simple way for landlords to register and for them and their agents to become licensed. Ahead of the changes, I encourage landlords and agents to subscribe to register their interest and to receive useful news and updates,’ she added. Cardiff Council, which currently operates the existing voluntary Landlord Accreditation Wales scheme, will be the licensing authority for the new statutory scheme, Rent Smart Wales, on behalf of all local authorities. ‘The scheme demonstrates the value of training and the development of positive relationships with landlords based on a better understanding of responsibilities and the potential risks of getting things wrong,’ said Bob Derbyshire, Cardiff Council cabinet member for the environment. ‘Rent Smart Wales is the next step, building on this early… Continue reading →
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