03 Nov 2015
A date has finally been set for the launch of Rent Smart Wales, which is the brand name for the new registration and licensing requirements for landlords under the Housing (Wales) Act 2004. Rent Smart Wales replaces the Landlord Accreditation Wales Scheme from 23 November 2015 and landlords will be able to register and apply for a licence from this date.
It is important for landlords to note that they will have 12 months from 23 November 2015 in which to comply with this new requirement. Rent Smart Wales have indicated that during the first year there will be a focus on raising awareness of the new requirements and encouraging landlord’s compliance. This places an additional obligation on landlords to ensure that they are at the very least registered with Rent Smart Wales. Some landlords may wish to consider whether they become licenced or commission a licenced agent to manage and let their property. There will therefore be much to consider for each landlord over the next 12 months.
Landlords wishing to find out more information regarding their options and obligations, can consider the information that is available on www.rentsmart.gov.wales . Landlords can also seek Legal advice from our specialist solicitors if they are unsure of their obligations.
We certainly understand how some landlords may feel that this is simply a further obligation for them. We are also aware that there are fears within the private rental sector that some landlords may be put off continuing as a landlord or becoming a landlord. This could inevitably have a negative impact on the availability of (affordable) housing within Wales. Landlords’ fears are compounded by the current Renting Homes (Wales) Bill which is currently being considered by the Welsh Government where further obligations are being debated.
Whilst these concerns are naturally expected, the service is intended to increase landlords’ awareness as to their rights and obligations which can only be beneficial.
Harding Evans is a trading name of Harding Evans LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in England & Wales (registered number: OC311802), authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number: 419663).