Change in regulation brings Landlord Licensing to Wales
The Housing (Wales) Act which gained Royal assent in September 2014 will require all Landlords and Agents who intend to carry out any practical letting or management activities or work at rental properties in Wales to apply for a licence.
Although an official date has not been set yet, it is widely suspected that the Act will come into force on the 1st October 2015, so our advice to all Landlords is get organised now, especially if you manage your own property.
So who does it affect?
Every Landlord who lets out a residential property in Wales is affected by this legislation. It will be a criminal offence not to have a licence after the Act comes into force.
Do I need a Licence?
Landlords who manage their own properties, or have any type of interest in managing the property will need a licence. Landlords who opt for a fully managed service will need to be registered, but will not need to be licensed. Landlords who have a management service will need to ensure their Agent is licenced. It is likely that Agents should be able to register their managed Landlords on their behalf.
How do I get a License?
In order to get a licence you will need to ensure you:
· Are a fit and proper person
· Undertake a day’s training course with Landlord Accreditation Wales
· Register each property they rent in Wales
· Register their own details
· Pay a licensing fee
Once licences have been obtained they should be valid for 5 years. For more information about training days, visit www.welshlandlords.org.uk
Many Landlords are not aware of this new legislation and without a doubt in the first few months after the grace period has expired, the licencing authorities will be keen to make examples of Landlords who are not compliant with the Act by imposing heavy penalties. It is expected that there will be about a 6 month grace period after the Act comes into force.
Our advice is plan now before it becomes a criminal offence to manage a property without a licence.