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Every landlord to undergo 'training' to secure licence

Every landlord in Wales will have to undertake ‘training’ and be licensed under new rules coming into effect this autumn.

In a move similar to that conducted by some English local authorities the landlords must demonstrate they are “fit and proper” to hold a licence - although Wales goes further by insisting on training before they can register with Rent Smart Wales, the new licensing system across that country.

Welsh housing minister Lesley Griffiths claims the new rules are “absolutely essential” to give protection to the 184,000 people currently renting across Wales.

“The new legislation we are introducing will not only improve the situation for tenants – informing them of their rights and responsibilities – it will also help good landlords by improving the sector’s reputation” she says.

“When Rent Smart Wales is introduced this autumn, it will provide a simple way for landlords to register and for them and their agents to become licensed. Ahead of the changes, I encourage landlords and agents to subscribe to register their interest and to receive useful news and updates.”

The move will be made law through part of the Housing (Wales) Act. The licensing registration scheme will be run by Cardiff Council and replace the current voluntary Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

Douglas Haig, vice-chairman of the Welsh district of the Residential Landlords Association, says the scheme - which is to be policed by local councils - will detract from genuinely tackling a minority of landlords who are criminals and stretch resources further.

  • Richard White

    Perhaps some training could be introduced for tenants? A weeks intensive residential learning on how to air a property correctly and change lightbulbs would be a great start.

  • Emma  Mitchell

    Very true Richard, often some tenants could do with a few lessons! On the whole though, surely this isn't a bad thing, can you ever be given too much information or training?

  • icon

    Sounds too good to be true? That is because it is.
    1. Just another income stream for the councils.
    2. The cost?
    3. In practice what will it achieve?
    4. There is more than enough legislation already - not enforced.
    5. The reasons given are utter nonsense!

  • Jon  Tarrey

    You just love having a dig at tenants, Richard, don't you? Yes, I know you'd say you're being tongue in cheek, but you're not really, are you?

    I guess, to your mind, landlords are perfect and tenants are smelly evil little things who don't know how to change a lightbulb and live no better than pigs. You know, that massive demographic of renters in this is country, which is getting bigger and bigger by the day because of the government's failure to build enough new house, can all just be placed in the same category with one broad and ill-founded generalisation.

    I think this is a great scheme, because landlords will actually have to prove they're fit and proper persons. Any old Tom, Dick and Harry won't be able to let out their properties, surely that's a good thing for the PRS? A bit of policing, a bit of regulation, flush out the rogues who don't give two hoots about their tenants. And annoy these precious landlords who seem to think the whole world is against them.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    @Ray Evans - I thought I was the cynical one.

    It doesn't sound too good to be true, it just sounds like a sensible measure that should have been introduced a long time ago, across the board, all over Britain. Maybe then we wouldn't hear about so many landlords mistreating their tenants or making them live in barely inhabitable hovels. We read about a new case nearly every day on LAT and Landlord Today. But oh no, the landlords won't have that. It's always the fault of the pesky, good for nothing tenants, don't you know.

    1. I think you're being too harsh on local councils in Wales, Ray.
    2. No more than the cost of a court case or the fine a rogue landlord who's slipped through the net will have to pay for failing to provide heating or enough ventilation. And it's a small cost to pay if tenant safety isn't subsequently put at risk.
    3. It will stop, or at least put another barrier in the way of, rogue landlords. And there are plenty of them, no matter how hard some try to deny it. It will improve the standard and condition of rental properties because landlords know they won't be able to get away with providing sub-standard accommodation. The safety of tenants goes up as does their security and satisfaction levels.
    4. Legislation that is not being enforced is pointless. Even enforce it, or bring something new in to change it. We can't just sit on our laurels and go, "well, there's already loads of legislation in place, but we're just too lazy to do anything about it. It's too much effort, you know." Change things so it is enforced, don't just stick with the status quo because there is already malfunctioning, outdated legislation in place.
    5. No, they're not.

  • Marie Field

    My councils bin collection is fortnightly (discusting) apparently they say the streets are dirtier due to the TENANTS leaving their waste in their front and rear gardens out, (bulk) so now landlords have to take responsibility, will landlords take a policing course or deal with nuisance tenants? Who should really be in charge of that? And not complying you get a £5000 fine. (£20,000 or they take over your property). Oh and mustn't forget to change the furniture pillows to fire retardant, EPC, electrical appliances too. Written inspections every 6 months, it's a long list. Anything else to be added?

  • Marie Field

    Not forgetting they also do state that actually there are only a few NAUGHTY LANDLORDS!

  • Marie Field

    Drop in property prices, some landlords have already sold so they wouldn't have to put up with it. Letters of complaint regarding your nuisance tenant have to be kept for THREE YEARS because the council may ask for them. This is getting funny now.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    @Marie Field - if you can't cope with it, don't become a landlord. Furniture pillows and mattresses should be fire retardant, an EPC should be provided to tenants, electrical appliances should be checked regularly to ensure they are safe and in working order. These are just the basics. The bare minimum a tenant would expect.

    A landlord has a legal (and moral) obligation to keep their tenants safe. If you can't do that, don't rent out your properties.

  • Marie Field

    Jon don't make it sound like I don't do all of that already, I see you didn't mention my point about having to be responsible for the mess the tenant leaves at their front yards, isn't this the councils job? I'm not willing to go into war with tenants, I was just stating what they require.

  • Marie Field

    The fact is they could already get help anyway, how does the new rules and fines help, besides mortgage lenders do not want to to lend in these areas where these licensing exist, so we'll done to those councils who have made things worse. Read everything properly

  • Marie Field

    About the pillows, say a tenant buys new ones just after I have checked will I be held responsible for that aswell?
    When you buy a house and you get noisy neighbours you complain to the council not the agency, so why would a landlord risk getting a black eye when the council could deal with it?

  • Marie Field

    Jon, the only reason I stopped being a landlord is because I couldnt Carry on cleaning their garden for them anymore, and getting them new ovens every 1 or 2 years because they never wash them. Or because I hated waiting 2 months for arrears and another 2 months on top for the tribunal and bailiffs, To be told they can't afford to pay the arrears and tell the tenant move along now and do the same to some other landlord (let's see how long you can live in there for free whilst the council figures out if the tenant is or isn't entitled to housing benefit).
    It's not because of fire retardant pillows I can assure you. But I wouldn't like to pay £5000 fine for breaking one of their rules, because we all know how councils paperwork is done, and I probably wouldn't have known if I had broken a rule.

  • icon

    If there's going to be a training for the landlord, perhaps a training for the tenant is not a bad idea. They require renovations, but they don't take care of the property at all.

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