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Rent Smart Wales Goes Lives. A blog for Welsh Landlords and Agents

View profile for Rebecca Seldon
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As the Welsh Government's Rent Smart Wales scheme goes live, we look at recent developments, revisit the key changes and outline how to ensure compliance with the new laws:

In this, our third article this year on the significant new legal changes affecting landlords and agents in Wales, we confirm that the date for the registration and licensing requirements under Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 was the 23 November 2015.

The Licensing Authority, Cardiff Council, now have in place the Rent Smart Wales team and a website and helpline will be live. Most importantly, there is now a 12 month grace-period (from November 2015) that will see landlords register themselves and comply with the licensing requirements.

Two steps to compliance
1.    Registration: If you rent out accommodation, you will have to register with Rent Smart Wales by law. This will be a quick process which you will be able to complete on-line via the Rent Smart Wales website.

2.    Licensing: As part of the registration, you will have to state who undertakes letting and management at the property.  If you employ an agent for this work on your behalf, you must make sure they are licensed to do so. If you do not employ a licensed agent you must be licensed yourself to carry out letting and management activities (see our article dated 29 July 2015 for more information on letting and management activities).  Licensing training will be offered for landlords and agents through Rent Smart Wales.

During the first year there will be a focus on raising awareness of the new requirements and encouraging compliance. However, it is vital to ensure that you are fully compliant with the new laws within 12 months, as from 23 November 2016, a stringent range of enforcement powers will be introduced and landlords and agents found to be ignoring their new obligations will have action taken against them by local authorities and the licensing authority.

Further information is available at www.rentsmart.gov.wales where you are also able to subscribe to receive updates.

JCP Solicitors have an expert team who deal with a wide range of landlord and tenant issues. For more information contact us on law@jcpsolicitors.co.uk or telephone one of our local offices.

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