Letting Agent License Costs to Change Under Rent Smart Wales
By |Published On: 23rd March 2016|

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Letting Agent License Costs to Change Under Rent Smart Wales

By |Published On: 23rd March 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

New license fees for letting and management agents in Wales have been revealed after many smaller agents and landlords urged for the costs to come down.

In Wales, all letting or management agents must be licensed by law under the Rent Smart Wales scheme.

Landlords must be registered and also licensed in most cases.

Backed by several membership bodies, the protestors campaigned against the huge £3,728 license fee, which was the same for small agents as for larger companies.

Under the new fee structure, license costs will now be based on the number of properties managed by each agent.

Smaller agents will now pay less – but still much more than in England under local authority licensing schemes – while larger agents will pay considerably more.

Letting Agent License Costs to Change Under Rent Smart Wales

Letting Agent License Costs to Change Under Rent Smart Wales

Costs will range from £1,890 to £6,600 for a five-year license.

The fee will also vary depending on whether the agent is a member of a recognised professional body, such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) or the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA). Costs will also differ depending on whether the license application was made online or on paper.

Under the Rent Smart Wales scheme, landlords and agents who let and manage properties must obtain a license by making a declaration that they are a fit and proper person and by passing approved training.

Cardiff Council operates the scheme, which was implemented on 23rd November 2015. The new fee structure will be enforced from late next month.

The Cabinet Member for Environment at Cardiff Council, Councillor Bob Derbyshire, comments: “Since the launch of Rent Smart Wales in November, the broad consensus in relation to the cost of agent licenses has been that change is necessary.

“The city council has taken on the feedback and reviewed the fees to reflect comments received. The consensus was that the fee structure should reflect the size of the business.”

He continues: “Rent Smart Wales aims to professionalise the private rented sector by promoting the need for compliance with the law and providing good, safe housing for tenants.

“The costs of delivering the scheme have to be met, but this is a unique scheme in the UK and there will therefore be areas where we will be able to learn from experience.

“We are particularly grateful to the professional agent bodies who have contributed their views during this review process.”1

Landlords and agents are currently in a grace period. They have until 23rd November to comply with their new legal obligation. However, they are warned to plan early, as it will take time for license applications to be processed.

Isobel Thomson, of NALS, says: “We are delighted that Rent Smart Wales has recognised that agents who are part of regulatory organisations, such as NALS, are more likely to already have embraced the requirements of the licensing scheme and less likely to generate complaints or breaches of their license.

“We also believe that the new pricing structure, which takes into account the size of a firm’s portfolio, is a fairer method of calculating the registration fee rather than a one size fits all fee.”1

Landlords in Wales are also reminded that on Monday, Universal Credit rolled out to many parts of the country. You must be aware of any changes to your housing benefit tenants’ finances. 

1 http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/cost-of-compulsory-licensing-for-welsh-agents-to-change-after-protests/

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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