Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, will today visit the Rent Smart Wales call centre in Cardiff. His visit is to assess how the task to ensure all private sector landlords to sign up for the mandatory scheme is progressing.
The Housing Act (Wales) 2014 made it a legal obligation for all private landlords in Wales to register themselves and their property with Rent Smart Wales by November 23rd 2016. Landlords who are still involved in letting and management activities will have to undertake further training.
Rent Smart Wales aims to improve standards in the sector. The call centre in Cardiff deals with queries from landlords and agents, helping them to register for their required licence.
In addition, the Cabinet Secretary also launched the next phase of the campaign in the run-up to the deadline. This was in order to inform landlords of their legal requirement to register, alongside giving tenants their right to have a property registered by a licensed landlord or letting agent.
Mr Sargeant observed, ‘Rent Smart Wales is a landmark scheme that will drive up standards in the private rented sector by requiring managing landlords and agents to undertake training to ensure they are clear on their responsibilities. It will help prevent the involvement of rogue and even criminal, landlords and agents in the management and letting of properties.’
‘The scheme will help to protect tenants in the private rented sector, and will support good landlords and agents by helping them keep abreast of their responsibilities and legal obligations, raising the reputation of the sector as a whole. The deadline for registration is now less than five months away. I would urge those who have not yet done so to discharge their legal responsibilities to register as soon as possible because, whilst registration can be completed simply and quickly on-line, the licensing process can take up to eight weeks to complete,’ he continued.
City of Cardiff Council Cabinet Member Bob Derbyshire, added, ‘landlords and agents will have had a full year to ensure they register, get trained and become licensed under the new scheme. Although November 23 is the deadline for compliance and to many people, that may seem distant, we are keen to stress the importance of becoming licensed sooner, rather than later.’