Do You Let A Property In Wales?
All landlords and agents of private residential properties in Wales will be required to register with Rent Smart Wales as of 23 November, 2016, under a major shakeup of the industry.
What is Rent Smart Wales?
Rent Smart Wales is a government scheme which seeks to clampdown on rogue and criminal landlords operating within the private rental market.
Unfortunately, whilst the majority of residential landlords do their utmost to ensure that their tenants are safe and comfortable in the property for the duration of their tenancy, some landlords refuse to take these necessary steps voluntarily.
The new registration scheme will not only allow both landlords and tenants to access a centralised system, but also help local authorities undertake the required functions under the relevant legislation.
What do Landlords Need to do?
The most important thing to do is to make sure you register before 23 November, 2016. Whilst this is the last day, applications to register and receive a license can take up to eight weeks to process, so it is important that you apply with plenty of time to make sure you meet this requirement.
You only need to register yourself once – you can then enter the details for the properties in question, regardless of how many there are.
There is a fee to pay, though it varies whether or not you do so online or by paper; applying online will see you incur a fee of £33.50, or £80.50 for a paper application. The costs of the licenses themselves are thereafter £144.00 and £186.00 respectively for private landlords. The licenses are valid for a period of five years.
If you do not participate in the management of the property (whether the person who manages the property is another individual or an agent) you will not be required to obtain a license, as they themselves should hold their own license.
This application and registration process only applies for properties situated within Wales – even if you yourself are based here, but your property is in England, there is no need for you to register.
What Happens if You Don’t Register?
Should you continue to rent or manage a property without the required registration and licensing, you may face a fine or a rent stopping order.
The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 also allows for criminal proceedings where a landlord has failed to register and continues to let a property in convention of this statute.
Registration takes as little as 15 minutes, and could save you a lot of hassle. Be sure to visit www.rentsmart.gov.wales for further information.
Residential & Commercial Landlord Services
Our litigation and dispute team have a wide experience in all aspects of landlord and tenant matter, which occur in both a commercial property and residential property context. Regardless of the number of the properties you have we can advise you through all the stages of this relationship. We appreciate the process of letting and managing your property is both time consuming and complicated so our aim is to resolve your issues as quickly and efficiently as possible so as to protect your investment and safeguard your income.
Our team has a wide range of expertise in tenancy related issues including:
- Breach of Covenant
- Business Lease Renewals
- Dilapidation Claims
- Disrepair Disputes
- Enforcement of Lease Terms
- Forfeiture and Termination of Leases
- Nuisance Claims
- Peaceable Re-entry
- Possession Actions
- Recovery of Rent Arrears
- Rent Reviews
- Tenancy Agreements
At Slater and Gordon we believe knowledge is key to dealing with the complex legislations which govern both the rights and obligations of the landlord and tenant accordingly, drawing on the experience that only a nationwide law firm can offer. We pride ourselves on our exceptional service and our team endeavour to provide effective ‘real world’ advice, taking into account the legal and practical considerations which are both vital in any situation which may arise in Landlord and Tenant matters.
You can contact the property solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9083 or contact us online.
Owen J Lloyd is a commercial litigation lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Cardiff.