Unless you’ve been hidden away in an Australian jungle over the last few months, you will have heard about the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016; an extension of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 that ultimately aims to make renting easier and provide more rights and greater protection for tenants – now referred to as ‘contract-holders’.
The new legislation, which is now in force, affects those that privately let and manage rental properties in Wales.
So, if you’re a managing agent or self-managing landlord, you need to have registered with Rent Smart Wales and applied and paid for a licence. One registration and one licence is required per landlord – not per property – and they last for five years.
There are some exemptions, for example, if you are a landlord who does not undertake ‘management activities’ and use a licenced agent, you won’t need a licence yourself – but will still need to register. If you are a joint landlord, only one of you needs to register as the lead landlord.
Holiday lets and those with lodgers are also exempt, and if you live in Wales, but your property is outside of Wales you do not need to register. Check the website for a full breakdown.
You might need to undertake training in order to achieve the licence. There is a further fee for this, and how much you pay will depend on which training you are required to complete. Most training is available online on the Rent Smart Wales website.
Failure to comply with the legislation could result in a fixed penalty notice, rent repayment orders or even criminal prosecution – so do your research and make sure you are covered.
Full details about the legislation and license requirements can be found at Rent Smart Wales or get in touch with one of our team who will be able to answer any questions you may have.