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.