Rent Smart Wales, the new registration and licensing system in Wales, launches on Monday - and it represents a major change for the private rental sector in the principality.
- 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’;
- 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.
Landlords and agents who need to become licensed will be able to register and apply for a licence from Monday. They will have 12 months from that date in which to comply with the new legislation.
During this first year there will be a focus by the Welsh government on raising awareness of the new requirements and encouraging compliance.
One of the earliest changes is that from Monday agents must openly display all fees including any additional charges or penalties which may be incurred during a tenancy as well as fees, charges and penalties which are referenced in the tenancy agreement and in Terms of Business.
Fees should be displayed including VAT. Agents must display fees at each of their premises and on their websites.
ARLA members can access a fees template available from the association’s website.