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Controversial compulsory lettings scheme celebrates 1,000th 'trainee'

The 1,000th person has been trained as part of Rent Smart Wales, the compulsory scheme that says it aims to raise standards in private rented homes.

The registration and licensing scheme requires private sector letting agents and landlords to attend training in order to get a licence.  

This involves, amongst other things, applicants to make a declaration that they are ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence; they and their employees must undertake, and pass, approved training. Landlords who prefer not to let and manage their own property can appoint a licensed agent to manage the property on their behalf.

Abergavenny-based landlord David Spencer was the 1,000th to be trained so far, having attended a landlord training course in Bridgend. 

“I have been a landlord since 1984. We now have three properties in Abergavenny and although we have things tied up pretty well and we use an agent to find our tenants, a course like this gives us a greater understanding of things” he says.

Agent Alison Whitehouse of AW Properties recently attended an agent training course. “I think the licensing is a good idea as it narrows out rogue landlords and agents and gives the consumer a lot more protection. I think it will help the private rented sector by improving standards for tenants” she says. 

Once they have completed their training, landlords and agents can complete their licence application; the scheme is open until November for current agents and landlords to register. 

Following a review, new Rent Smart Wales licence fees for Letting and Management Agents were announced last week, and was welcomed by ARLA amongst others. 

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