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Four weeks to go before Welsh letting licensing regime starts

The new registration and licensing requirements under Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 will be launched on November 23, the Welsh Government has announced.

It gives 12 months notice for agents and landlords to act. This means that within a year of November 23:

- all private landlords who have a rental property in Wales must register themselves and the addresses of their rental properties in Wales;

- landlords 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;

- in order to get a licence a person must be adequately trained, and also declare themselves ‘fit and proper’, with training offered through the Welsh Government, which has branded the scheme ‘Rent Smart Wales’.

The Residential Landlords Association has voiced some opposition to the proposal with a spokesman saying: "Whilst we encourage all landlords to comply with the new regulations and follow the Welsh Government’s guidance, the RLA believes that this will detract local authorities’ attention away from tackling the minority of landlords who are criminals and stretch resources further. We believe that existing regulations in the private rented sector are sufficient to tackle the criminal landlords, however we do not see adequate enforcement of the powers that already exist."

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