New planning website launched in Wales
Landlords in Wales who wish to alter their properties will have to start the process through a new planning website, which has been launched by the Welsh government.
This means those desiring to carry out significant work on their properties, such as adding an extension, will need to use the new site to submit a planning application to their local council.
However, the new site is designed to make the whole process easier rather than more difficult, so provided it functions as intended it will enable landlords and agents to press ahead more easily with their renovation plans, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has stated.
Indeed, the number of forms that will need to be filled in has been reduced.
The new portal can be accessed via the Welsh government website. This also provides information on planning law in Wales, with guidance on the sort of developments that can be pursued without needing to apply for planning permission in the first place.
Landlords and agents who also have properties in other parts of the UK will need to check the planning guidelines carefully, as Wales can set its own planning laws.
There are also other things landlords need to note if they are investing in Welsh property.
Landlords have to obtain a licence under the Rent Smart Wales scheme, with mandatory training required before this can be obtained. The RLA is one of the organisations that offers such training.
Wales now has new devolved tax powers and this means stamp duty has been replaced by a new land value tax. It will be important for landlords with portfolios in different parts of the UK to be aware of these variations.
Another planning consideration in Wales will concern rural areas. A fifth of Wales is covered by one of its three national parks - Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons and the Pembrokeshire Coast - compared with around eight per cent of England. These areas are subject to more stringent planning guidelines than other areas.
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