We are in a new era with Private rented sector (PRS) now accounting for the majority of rented housing in Wales. As from the 23rd November 2016 all private landlords and letting agents must register their properties and be licensed via the licencing body.
That body is Rent Smart Wales who process landlord registrations and grants the licenses to landlords and agents who need to comply with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. In order to be licensed landlords have to first register all their properties, make a declaration regarding fit and proper person test, and complete training. More information can be found at Rent Smart Wales.
The legislation made provision for those who needed to comply to do so within a year, without fear of repercussion. The legislation followed several years of voluntary registration so in all the private rented sector has had several years to prepare.
The enforcement powers are now in force, this means that failure to comply with the legislation is an offence. Failure to be licensed mean landlords and their agents may incur a fixed penalty notice (£150 – £250), have rent stopping orders imposed on them, rent repayment orders, unable to serve a valid section 21 notice, or/and criminal prosecutions and fines.
If you are a tenant, you can check with Rent Smart Wales to see if your landlord / letting agent is registered by checking here: https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/check-register/