Private landlords in Wales subject to new scheme to uphold high standards in private rented sector
Article taken from Wales Online, 23rd November 2015
Private landlords will be subject to a new scheme to uphold high standards in the private rented sector, it has been announced.
The Welsh Government’s housing minister Lesley Griffiths AM has today launched the Rent Smart Wales scheme.
It will aim to prevent rogue landlords and agents from letting and managing properties while raising awareness of the respective rights and responsibilities of landlords, agents and tenants.
Around one in seven homes in Wales now privately rented
Ms Griffiths said: “With around one in seven homes in Wales now privately rented, a strong sector with good working practices is absolutely vital.
“I am proud Wales is leading the way on improving professionalism across the private rented sector.
“Our new, landmark scheme will drive up standards by making Wales the first country in the UK where managing landlords and agents are required to undertake training to ensure they are clear on their responsibilities.
“The changes will prevent rogue, and even criminal landlords and agents from being involved in the management and letting of properties.
All private landlords will be required to register
“This will help to protect tenants in the private rented sector – including students, lone parents and young families.
“Rent Smart Wales will also support good landlords and agents by helping them keep abreast of their responsibilities and legal obligations, and raising the reputation of the sector as a whole.”
Private landlords will be subject to a new scheme to uphold high standards in the private rented sector
All private landlords will be required to register with the scheme and they will also have to register their properties.
If a landlord wishes to manage the properties themselves, they must demonstrate they are fit and proper to hold a licence and then they must undertake and pass approved training.
'Wales is setting the standard with Rent Smart Wales'
Landlords and agents have one year to comply with their new legal obligations before facing legal action.
Cardiff Council will serve as the licensing authority for Rent Smart Wales.
Coun Bob Derbyshire, Cardiff Council cabinet member for environment, said: “The Council is delighted to be working with Welsh Government to deliver these important new registration and licensing requirements.
“Wales really is setting the standard with Rent Smart Wales, which will professionalise the private rented sector - an increasingly important housing option for many people.
Scheme aims to help tackle bad landlords
“By supporting and educating landlords and agents for the benefit of tenants, Rent Smart Wales aims to improve the practices of landlords and agents and help to tackle the bad landlords who give the sector a poor reputation.”
The Rent Smart Wales scheme will allow councils to identify all of the private rented properties within their area and will help them to work closely with landlords to maintain high standards.