Three quarters of letting agents in Wales have not signed up to register with the country’s compulsory licensing scheme for agents and landlords, even though there is just two and a half weeks to go before it starts.
The warning comes from a ‘concerned’ Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) as the deadline looms for agents and landlords alike.
“If landlords and agents find themselves unlicensed when the deadline arrives on 23rd November they will be unable to practice, so it’s important to act soon,” says David Cox, ARLA’s managing director.
After the deadline Rent Smart Wales will responsible for policing the country’s rental market through a licensing system for agents that requires them to complete training and then get approved by the scheme.
Landlords must also undertake the training if they wish to self-manage their properties, or alternatively use a licensed agent if they do not want to do the training. Also, anyone renting out a property in Wales must comply with the new regulation regardless of whether they live there or not.
ARLA, which runs one of the Rent Smart Wales-approved training courses via the NFoPP Residential Letting and Property Management qualification (Levels 2,3 and 4) says it reckons only a quarter of agents in Wales have completed the training and licensing process so far.
“Everyone involved in letting agency work [in Wales] needs to undertake Rent Smart Wales-approved training, and companies need to have Client Money Protection (CMP), Professional Indemnity Insurance, belong to a redress scheme and must provide all of their landlord and property details to Rent Smart Wales,” says David Cox.