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Housing (Wales) Act 2014 - Landlord / Agent registration and licensing

The Welsh Government are going to be introducing the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 this Autumn, the idea behind the act is to increase the standards by which landlords and agents are managing properties. Once the act comes into effect, landlords who let properties in Wales will need to register their details with Cardiff Council who is the licensing authority for Wales. Landlords and letting agencies that manage and undertake regular tasks related to the properties will need to obtain a license from Cardiff Council.

So what does landlord registration actually mean for you and your property? Registration will be compulsory with the council even if you don't find your own tenants or manage the property yourself.

To register you will need to:

  • Register yourself as a landlord and all of your rental property addresses with Cardiff Council. This will be done with a form that can be found on the Rent Smart website [https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/].   
  • Ensure that all of your property and personal information is up to date and correct.
  • If you are found to have not followed the rules and regulations then the council has the power to either prosecute, charge fixed penalty notices, rent stopping orders, rent repayment orders and restrict the termination of tenancies. 

If you source your own tenants, organise any maintenance work or legal requirements, collect rent or manage any aspect of a single property or undertake any other regular tasks you will be required to obtain a license. In order to obtain a license you will need to:

 

  • Apply through Cardiff Council licensing scheme Rent Smart, the fee for this is still to be confirmed. We are expecting landlords with multiple properties to have to pay more and this will be in addition to any House of Multiple Occupancy [HMO] licensing. 
  • Ensure that all of your property and personal information is up to date and correct.
  • Complete approved training and comply with a landlord code of practice. 

Any landlords unable to obtain a license won't be allowed to rent out or manage any properties, and will need to find a letting agent to manage the property on their behalf. Letting agents are also required to be licensed under the new rules. A licensed agent will have to:

  • Have client money protection policies to ensure that client money is treated correctly and also covered by insurance.
  • Be a member of a governing body such as ARLA, NALS or RICS.
  • Have a formal complaints procedure.
  • Ensure staff members have undergone approved training.

 

 Here at Pinnacle Letting and Estate Agents we have all the correct policies and procedures in place to cope with the upcoming changes to regulation. We are registered with the National Approved Lettings Scheme [NALS] and a high proportion of our staff has already completed the training prescribed by the Act.

To sign up to the scheme head to the Rent Smart Wales website and sign up to the website here.

News

Pinnacle Letting and Estate Agency Managing Director Wyn Griffiths talks to the BBC about the new rules.

If you want more information about the upcoming changes to the legislation or want us to take on the management of your property then get in contact with us.

Update

The charges are now confirmed and are published as follows:

 

·         Online cost of registration is £33.50 and if done in paper form it is £80.50.

 

·         Landlords will be charged £144 for online landlord licence applications and £186 for paper applications.

 

·         Agents will be charged £3,728 for their licence application. The online application is not yet available and the site says the paper application will cost £4,368 once the online application is available.

 

·         Also licensing requires training and all customer facing staff in Wales have to attend training. The agent training is 2 hours longer than the landlord training. Some staff have attended training and further training will follow.


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