Only just over two weeks remain for letting agents and landlords operating in Wales to register with the Rent Smart Wales initiative - and ARLA is reminding members that they have to be licensed or else face a hefty fine.
Rent Smart Wales is the scheme operated by the Welsh Government in its bid to improve the quality of the principality's private rental sector.
However, even with the deadline of November 23 fast-approaching, and registration for agents being compulsory, ARLA says only one-third of agents have yet acted.
“The law means landlords in Wales – and those in the rest of the UK who own properties in Wales – need to register themselves and their properties with Rent Smart Wales, as well as being suitably trained and licensed to carry out letting or property management activities. If landlords do not wish to get trained, they need to arrange for a trained and licensed agent to manage their properties on their behalf" explains David Cox, managing director of the Association of Residential Letting Agents.
“In addition, all lettings agents in Wales need to be licensed. This means everyone involved in letting agency work needs to undertake Rent Smart Wales-approved training, and companies need to have Client Money Protection, Professional Indemnity Insurance, belong to a redress scheme and must provide all of their landlord and property details to Rent Smart Wales" he adds.
The NFoPP Awarding Body qualifications in Residential Lettings and Property Management (Level 2 Award, Level 3 Technical Award or Level 4 Certificate) are approved Rent Smart Wales accreditations, which agents can undertake in order to meet their legal requirements.
“If landlords and agents find themselves unlicensed when the deadline arrives they will be unable to practise, so it’s important to act soon to ensure the necessary qualifications and other regulatory requirements have been undertaken before then, in order to comply with the legislation” warns Cox.