The Welsh government has launched Rent Smart Wales, the brand name for the new registration and licensing requirements for landlords under Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 which was launched on 23 November 2015. It is the mandatory registration and licensing scheme for all landlords and agents operating in Wales. Failure to obtain the correct licence will result in a fine & ban from renting property in Wales for repeat offenders.
On 1st April 2015 the Welsh Government appointed Cardiff Council to administer the joint schemes of landlord registration and letting agent, landlord and property management licensing. Rent Smart Wales is a newly created body operating within Cardiff Council who is solely responsible for implementing, administering and regulating the parts of The Act to do with registration and landlord applications for licences.
What is it?
The scheme requires all landlords to register their properties and undergo training to obtain a licence if they wish to self-manage. All Letting agents also need to apply for a licence and ensure that staff directly involved in property management have the appropriate training. Landlords and agents have been given 12 months in which to comply with the new legislation, before it then becomes an offence to let or manage a property without the correct licence.
The specific type of training depends upon the nature and legal status of the applicant. For example, a self-managing landlord will have different training requirements than a letting agency on the high street operating as a limited company. There are numerous ways that training courses can be delivered ranging from a one-day course held by an authorised trainer to an online option.
You will need to register on the Rent Smart Wales website and via the helpline on 03000 133344. Pay the relevant fees, provide the details of all of the properties, pass a fit and proper persons test, adhere to the code of practice and undertake the relevant training. Once the licence is issued, it will last for 5 years, but it can be revoked if you fail to comply with the terms in the licence or you lose your fit and proper person status.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) working in association with the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA), are approved trainers for Rent Smart Wales and can offer the relevant required training courses for all landlords and agents to enable you to gain your licence.
N.B If you rent property in Wales, the deadline for compliance has now passed, meaning enforcement action can be taken against you if you are not properly registered and licensed.
How do I complete the training?
Complete our one-day attendance-based NLA or UKALA foundation course. Our courses are facilitated across the UK. To find your nearest course visit our events calendar: The cost of attendance is offered to members at a substantial discounted rate. To find out more about our courses we offer click here:
Complete the "CORE" subjects in the Online Library that is FREE for NLA/UKALA members.
What if I already have NLA/UKALA accreditation?
Any NLA or UKALA members already accredited by the NLA* prior to 1st May 2016 will only need to do an online top-up by completing the three additional core modules on the Online Library, which are; Rent Smart Wales (found in the property section) plus Legionella and Asbestos (found in the safety section)
* Please note: If you have passported into NLA Accreditation from another accreditation scheme then you will need to present your original training certification in support of your registration with Rent Smart Wales unless you have also attended an NLA Foundation Course or completed ALL of the core modules on the Online library
What if I don't meet the deadline?
The scheme was launched on the 23rd November 2015 giving a year to comply before enforcement action will be taken to ensure all landlords and agents do come forward and are giving adequate opportunity to undertake the training they require.
Powers for enforcement will include:
- Fixed penalties (in the majority of cases depending on the offences).
- The licensing authority or the local housing authority can also make an application to the residential property tribunal for a rent stopping order if property management activities carried out are unlicensed or a landlord knowingly instructs an unlicensed agent.
- The licensing authority, local housing authority or a tenant may make an application to the residential property tribunal for a ‘rent repayment order’ if property management activities carried out are unlicensed or a landlord knowingly instructs an unlicensed agent.
Don't delay as the deadline has now passed!
For more information about how NLA Accreditation and Courses work with Rent Smart Wales, you can contact NLA using 02078408920 or via email.