Last month the Welsh government published a White Paper outlining its plans for a new landlord registration system.
The government has said that it wants to offer more protection to tenants in Wales, following what it says has been a rise in the number exploitative landlords. There has been a general fear across the UK that rising demand for rental property has pushed landlord standards down.
The Labour-controlled Welsh government wants to set a new requirement for private landlords to be accredited before they rent out a property. Lettings and management agencies would also be required to sign up to a Code of Practice.
What do I need to do?
The Welsh government is currently in consultation on its proposals, and is seeking responses until 17 August. You can read and respond to the White Paper here.
As the situation currently stands, Welsh landlords do not need to apply for accreditation. But it is important to understand that some form of license is likely to be introduced, and that landlords and agents need to be prepared for a shift in the law.
What about the rest of the UK?
Most private landlords and agents in Scotland are already required to register with their local authority, and must pass a ‘fit and proper persons’ test before they will be accredited. Registration costs £55 per local authority, with an additional charge of £11 per property.
There are currently no firm plans for a landlord registration scheme in England. However, it is worth noting that there seems to be an increasing political appetite for some form of accreditation. Most of the London Mayoral candidates included a registration scheme as a central plank of their manifestos, and there is increasing concern about the standard of rental accommodation across the UK – particularly as demand continues to increase. It therefore seems sensible to assume that some accreditation for landlords and agents may be on the cards in the medium term.