ARE YOU A LANDLORD?
Be aware of imminent changes to lettings legislation says Hannah McCartan McCartan Lettings, Killay
THE LEGISLATION – THE HOUSING (WALES) ACT 2014 – gained Royal Assent last September and is due to come into effect this October. It will be a legal requirement for any person who is involved in the day-to-day running of a rental property in Wales to obtain a licence or alternatively, Land-lords can instruct a licensed Letting Agent. All Landlords must be registered either way
SO WHO DOES IT AFFECT?
Every Landlord who lets out a residential property in Wales is affected by this legislation. It will be a legal requirement for all Landlords to be registered and those who manage their own properties and Agents who manage on behalf of Landlords, to be licensed.
If you own a property with someone else, both of you will need to register.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE?
Firstly, there will be a lead in time of 12 months before any action will be taken against Landlords and Agents who do not comply. After this ‘grace period’ the penalties will include Rent Repayment Orders, Fixed Penalty Notices, Rent Stopping Orders and summery convictions (with fines).
AM I A LANDLORD?
If you own a property that is not your main residence, that someone else lives in and you receive an income from them (however minimal), then you are considered to be a Landlord. Even if you do not have a ‘contract’ in place, the Housing & Tenants Act still applies and it’s statutory requirements.
DO I NEED A LICENCE?
Landlords who manage their own properties, (even if they let to a family member or friend) or have any type of interest in managing the property (such as arranging repairs/conducting property visits etc) will need a licence.
HOW DO I GET A LICENCE?
Rent Smart Wales was launched a few weeks ago. Once fully operational Landlords will be able to register their details on the website and in time be licensed.
In order to get a licence you will need to ensure you:
Are a fit and proper person
Undertake a day’s training course – (welshlandlords.org.uk)
Register each property you rent in Wales
Register your own details
Pay a licensing fee (yet to be set)
Once licenses have been obtained they should be valid for 5 years.
WHAT IF I HAVE A MANAGED SERVICE?
You will still need to register your details and your property with Rent Smart Wales but you will not need to obtain a licence. Your Letting Agent will require a licence and every member of their staff will have been required to undertake training in order for the company to have obtained the licence.
THE TEAM AT MCCARTAN LETTINGS HAVE ALL UNDERGONE THE TRAINING, ARE ACCREDITED WITH LANDLORD ACCREDITATION WALES AND SHOULD BE ONE OF THE FIRST AGENTS TO OBTAIN THE LICENCE IN SWANSEA WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.
The Rent Smart Wales website isn’t fully operational as yet, as soon as we have more news we will publish it as soon as we can.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to discuss how this legislation affects you, please do not hesitate in giving us a call. Alternatively if you have a friend or relative with a rental property in Wales, please share this information with them.
MCCARTAN LETTING & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SPECIALISTS
436 Gower Road, Killay, Swansea SA2 7AJ Tel: 01792 430100