Lack of awareness for new Welsh licensing scheme

by Property 118

13:27 PM, 23rd November 2015
About 3 years ago

Lack of awareness for new Welsh licensing scheme

Make Text Bigger
Lack of awareness for new Welsh licensing scheme

65% of tenants in Wales are unaware of new laws to register and license landlords and letting agents in the country, according to new findings from the National Landlords Association (NLA).NLA

Rent Smart Wales, which launched today, is the name of Wales’ new mandatory registration and licensing scheme for landlords and agents.

The scheme will require all landlords to register their properties and undergo training to obtain a licence if they wish to self-manage. Letting and management agents will also be required to become licensed.

Landlords and agents will have 12 months from 23 November in which to comply with the new legislation.

Despite low awareness levels among tenants, the findings show 69% say they will feel more confident renting from private landlords and letting agents once they are all registered, and 56% believe that the scheme will help them to find appropriate housing.

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer, NLA, said: “The NLA will be working to help landlords and agents comply with this new law but we’ve always been concerned that a mandatory registration and licensing scheme will not provide the benefits the Welsh Assembly says it will.

As the licensing authority, Cardiff City Council must start working with other local authorities from the outset in order to fine and prosecute those who fail to comply within the year’s grace period.

Without proper enforcement the scheme will do nothing to stop criminals in the sector but as yet we’ve seen no detail about how Cardiff City Council plans to do this.

Unless they’re quick off the mark, come next November, there’s a real danger that Rent Smart Wales will amount to little more than just a list of names and it will quickly lose the confidence of tenants who expect it to make a difference.”

Rent Smart Wales will replace the existing voluntary Landlord Accreditation Wales scheme, which has been operated by Cardiff Council on behalf of all local authorities in Wales.



Comments

matchmade

11:22 AM, 24th November 2015
About 3 years ago

For anyone who's interested, there are the following basic steps for a self-managed landlord:

1. register and pay £33.50. The cost is £80.50 if you have the cheek to try and register using a paper form. Your name, registered address (which need not be your home address) and the addresses of your rental property will all be publicly-available information.

2. apply for a licence to rent property. Cost £144 (paper £186), which lasts five years. No refunds if you cease being a landlord in that period. You have to prove you have received training and will be assessed to check if you a "fit and proper person" to rent property. The latter appears to be based solely on whether you have certain criminal convictions.

3. The compulsory training is irrespective of your past demonstrable experience. It is a day course costing £100. A typical syllabus is at https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/courses/detail?fdCourseEventId=7. Or there is an online training option if you live outside Wales or are otherwise unable to attend in person.

It's all pretty basic stuff, but how exactly this is meant to help identify and deal with criminal landlords is unclear. All it seems to do is add more costs onto landlords who already know what they're doing and are entirely unexceptional.

For some reason, tenants do not have to be licensed to have the right to rent property, or prove they are "fit and proper persons", or undergo training about their rights and responsibilities as tenants.

Adrian Jones

15:42 PM, 24th November 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "24/11/2015 - 11:22":

Thanks Tony. That is very helpful.

Gary Dully

2:19 AM, 25th November 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "24/11/2015 - 11:22":

Registered mine yesterday, training is a different issue as if I do it now the landlords that do all of the process at the last minute will have up to a 1 year advantage of being able to rent without a license and yet I will have forked out all of the fees.
Perhaps they should have a tiered tariff that increases as you get closer to the deadline.

Adrian Jones

9:46 AM, 25th November 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "25/11/2015 - 02:19":

Hi Gary,

The registration lasts for 5 years after which you have to re-register and presumably pay another fee.

Is there any advantage to signing up now?


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

And the landlord vote goes to - ?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More