If you’re a landlord in Wales you are legally obliged to register with Rent Smart Wales, a Welsh Government scheme that was established in 2014 to help combat rogue landlords in the private rented sector. So, are you complying?
Over the past few years the scheme has raised awareness of the rights and responsibilities of landlords, agents and tenants to maintain a high standard of private renting throughout Wales. There are two types of requirements, Registration and Licence:
Any landlord who has a rental property in Wales that is rented on an assured, assured shorthold, or regulated tenancy is required to register. How a property is owned will determine who needs to register it. All registrations are done with Rent Smart Wales. Read more here.
Registration can be completed online for £33.50 or via a paper application for £80.50
Landlords who are not involved in setting up tenancies and managing their rental properties do not need a licence; however, they must use a local licensed agent and register as a landlord, declaring their agent on the registration. Landlords who do undertake letting and management tasks at their rental properties in Wales are required to apply for a licence. Read more here.
A licence application can be completed online for £144 or via a paper application for £186.
To keep it simple: if you have a property that you let you must register with Rent Smart Wales; if you choose not to use a letting agent to manage your property, you must also apply for a licence. Both your registration and licence application can be completed online for a fee, and are both valid for five years.
We have been surprised by the number of landlords who are unaware of Rent Smart Wales, leaving themselves vulnerable to fixed penalty notices of either £150/£250, rent repayment orders, rent stopping orders, criminal prosecution, and fines. In addition to these consequences, you will not be able to serve valid Section 21 notices for possession of your property if you have not registered and are not licensed either yourself or through a letting agent.
There are several advantages to using Hathways’ lettings team to manage your rental property, but aside from our experience, marketing possibilities, and ongoing support, we will take on the responsibility for ensuring your property complies with Rent Smart Wales. Once you have registered as a landlord, our team will do the rest. You can find more details on our range of lettings services online.
If you are still unsure about your requirements as a landlord you are invited to talk to our team, who can take you through the process and your options. Our branches are open six days a week, or call us on 01633 870777.