Rent Smart Wales is the new compulsory licensing and registration scheme for landlords to be launched in autumn of this year. It requires all landlords that rent properties in Wales to register their interests in all the properties that they own, and if they wish to manage their property/ies, to become licensed within twelve months. If a landlord does not wish to manage their property/ies, they will then need to nominate another licensed body, most likely a lettings agent, to manage it on their behalf.
From autumn of this year, all letting agents will have a year to become licensed. It is not yet clear the extent of the qualifications required or the costs that will be incurred except that attending the one day accreditation Wales (law) course will be adequate training for agents.
Tony Jones, Director of ACJ Lettings and ARLA comments:
We are in full support of the regulation of our industry that will improve the quality and management of housing in Wales. However, we have major reservations regarding its implementation.
The Welsh Government wisely set up stakeholder groups, but having consulted with the industry, they took little notice of the advice given. Rather than ‘reinvent the wheel’, it would have been wise to have introduced the regulation of letting agents first, and make joining an accredited membership organisation (for instance ARLA) a prerequisite of licensing.
This would have raised the bar rather than what would appear to be a ‘dumbing down’ of standards. It would also have enabled landlords that did not wish to manage their own properties to nominate a licensed agent; something they will have a limited ability to do when legislation comes into play this autumn.
The launch of Rent Smart Wales is on 23rd November and we still do not know the qualifications, costs or penalties for registration or licensing of landlords and letting agents. We haven’t heard about the resources that will be required to publicise and then police the legislation, which could well result in the good agents paying for the scheme, whilst the rogue agents continue regardless.
Article Courtesy of: ACJ Lettings