Landlords who let their properties on assured, assured shorthold, and regulated tenancies are covered by the new law. All landlords in Wales have until November 23 to register themselves and their properties online at https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/.
The process costs £33.50 online or £80.50 for a paper registration.
Run by Cardiff City Council but covering the whole of Wales, Rent Smart Wales is the new body licensing landlords under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
You or your company need to register if:
- You rent out a property to someone as their main home and they pay you for it.
- Your company rents out that kind of property.
- You jointly own a property which is rented out in this way – a ‘lead’ owner has to register in this case.
What landlords have to do
Landlords must register themselves – an agent can’t do it for them.
If you manage the property yourself, you’ll also have to apply for a licence. All properties with a domestic tenancy owned by a landlord have to be registered. They have 28 days to register any new properties.
Registration lasts for five years, then landlords have to re-register.
During the registration period, landlords have to keep records up to date on any changes to their names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and other contact information given during registration.
They also have to notify Rent Smart Wales of any changes to people letting their properties or those managing it for them, or if they sell it.
Protection for landlords and tenants
Agents who manage properties for a landlord have to be licensed – even if they are friends or family members.
The Welsh Government wants all agents to be properly trained and to be ‘fit and proper’ people to take on the role – having no convictions in the relevant area, for example.
Rent Smart Wales, which also offers training courses for agents, can refuse licence applications from people it deems to not be ‘fit and proper’ agents.
The five-year licence requires agents to comply with a code of practice.
That gives landlords protections like written fees and details, and tenants protections like banning misleading statements about a property, getting their consent for credit checks, and giving existing tenants proper notice of viewings for prospective new tenants.
Agents and self-managing landlords who fail to abide by the code can see their licence revoked and they won’t be able to manage any properties in Wales.
If you’re a landlord looking for a property management service, ensure you choose one which is licensed and already complying with the law – just like Louvain Properties!
If you’re a tenant, protect yourself by choosing a, experienced and professional service which complies with the Rent Smart Wales Code of Conduct. Take a look at the properties we have to rent now http://louvainproperties.co.uk/lettings/