Renting? Why you need to make sure your landlord is licensed.
Not a day goes by when there isn’t a story on the news about a rogue landlord, over charging, over crowding, and basically giving the industry a bad reputation. You may be aware that anyone renting a property in Wales now needs to be licensed as part of the new Rent Smart Wales scheme.
The importance of such a scheme was highlighted by a case in Bristol where a landlord was fined for failing to comply with an Improvement Notice and undertake necessary repairs on his property. “The council will not tolerate landlords failing to meet their legal responsibilities in relation to the conditions and safety of their properties. This is an issue we take very seriously, and we will continue to take action where necessary to improve people’s living conditions,” said Councillor Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, Bristol City Council.
Landlords come in many guises, from the professional with a portfolio of properties to those that rent out a single property for a bit of extra income. If a landlord doesn’t use a letting agent they may not be completely aware of their legal responsibilities as a landlord, especially as regulations can change and new policies be put in place.
By failing to understand and keep up to date with these responsibilities landlords are putting themselves and their tenants at risk. One of the purposes of Rent Smart Wales is to educate every landlord so they don’t fall foul in the future. To qualify for a license, landlords and letting agents need to undertake training and abide by the Welsh Minister-approved Code of Practice, which contains letting and management standards in relation to rented properties.
It is now against the law to let a property in Wales without a license, and failure to comply with the scheme could have serious consequences.
If you’re looking to rent a property it is worth ensuring that your landlord is licensed in case anything goes wrong. You can check this by looking at the Rent Smart Wales Register.
Bidmead Cook are a Rent Smart Wales licensed letting agent, which means we abide by their code of conduct, but in addition ARLA Propertymark also licenses us to practice as a letting agent. As licensed members of ARLA Propertymark we also have to follow their strict code of conduct and maintain the very highest industry standards.
We want you to have a positive letting experience, so make sure that you choose a licensed agent; this will ensure that the property you rent is safe and in a good state of repair, that the landlord fulfils their legal responsibilities, and you are protected should things go wrong.
If you’re looking for a rental property, contact our lettings team, as we can assure you that you will be in safe hands.