Payton Jewell Caines are lending their support to a recently launched scheme within the Welsh private housing sector, and calling on local landlords to ensure they are aware of their new legal obligations. The call comes as an important milestone is reached, with the 1,000th person undergoing their training as part of the scheme.
Rent Smart Wales, a Welsh Government registration and licensing initiative, aims to improve standards throughout the private rental sector by ensuring landlords and letting agents attend training in order to obtain a licence. Furthermore, it is envisaged that the scheme will help promote tenants’ rights and responsibilities by making information more widely available.
All private landlords are required to register themselves and their properties with Rent Smart Wales, while landlords who let and manage their properties must also obtain a licence. To achieve this, applicants will make a declaration that they are ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence, and they and their employees must undertake, and pass, approved training. Alternatively, landlords who prefer not to let and manage their own property can appoint a licensed agent to manage the property on their behalf.
A significant milestone was recently passed with the 1,000th person completing their Rent Smart Wales training. When informed that he was the 1000th individual, David Spencer said:“I have been a landlord since 1984. We now have three properties 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.
“The course is very good and the detail that the trainer has gone into is fantastic. Before the course I had no understanding of the extra requirements for houses in multiple occupation, so that’s been of interest to me. The main thing that I’ve got from the course is the reassurance that we are currently doing things right.
“The information from Rent Smart Wales has been very good and the training fills in the gaps. The website answered all the questions I had.
“Having a standard for the whole of the country is going to be good – a level playing field will be great.”
Landlords have until November 23 to comply with their legal obligations, but with applications taking up to 8 weeks to process they are being encouraged to do so now rather than risk missing the deadline. Registration costs £33.50, while those landlords who also require a licence must pay £144 and an additional fee for their training. Once completed, both registration and licencing will be valid for a period of five years.
Commenting on the scheme, Sara Hawkins, Rentals Director for Payton Jewell Caines said: “Our portfolio spans the Bridgend, Port Talbot and Neath areas. Rent Smart Wales is certainly helping to professionalise the private rental sector and raise standards but landlords really must take on board the changing legislation sooner rather than later. Complying with the new legislation takes time and consideration; leaving it to the last minute means that you risk missing the deadline.”
For further information, visit the Rent Smart Wales website www.rentsmart.gov.wales or call 03000 133344.
By web on March 11th, 2016