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Clock is ticking for landlords in Wales

Posted by: Adam Male on 5 September 2016
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The Rent Smart Wales deadline of November 23rd is looming, and time is running out for unregistered Welsh landlords!

Under the regulations, by the 23rd November, all landlords who own property in Wales must have registered themselves and their property addresses with the Rent Smart Wales scheme.

You must undertake training to prove that you are ‘fit and proper’ to be a landlord, pay the relevant fee ((online fee is £33.50 and paper form is £80.50) and you will then be issued a license and registration number.

There are no exceptions - whether you are a landlord or you just carry out management work on behalf of a landlord, failure to comply is illegal and if you are unlicensed by the time the deadline rolls around you could face a hefty fine of £5,000!

It can take up to eight weeks for Rent Smart Wales to process license applications, so if you haven’t yet arranged your registration, don’t leave it too much longer!

For more information, visit the official Rent Smart Wales website 

Forgetful Scottish tenants could be in for a bonus!

Posted by: Adam Male on 5 September 2016
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There was good news for Scottish tenants this week, as a new programme was launched to reunite them with their cash!

SafeDeposits Scotland has launched an appeal for forgetful tenants, who haven't claimed back their deposits at the end of their tenancy – and they are looking to get their cash back to them. The firm believe that over 2,000 tenants, many of them students, ended their leases and left the property without claiming back the cash that they handed over at the start.

Since the introduction of tenancy deposit schemes in July 2012, it is believed that over £500,000 has gone unclaimed. The team already attempt to reunite tenants with their cash by sending them letters, text messages, emails and phone calls, but when if all else fails, when left unclaimed for six years, the cash goes to the Crown. 

And the rebrand winner is...

Posted by: Adam Male on 2 September 2016
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Thank you to everyone who took part in voting for the rebrand vote – results are in!


  • Yellow – 37%

  • Blue- 28%

  • Red – 26%


There were also some ‘off-plan’ colour choices-


  • Green – 5%

  • Orange - 2%

  • Purple – 2%




The resounding winner is yellow, so thanks a bunch for all your help – and don’t forget keep your eyes peeled for some zingy yellow branding soon! 


'Tenant Tax' landlords fighting back against HMRC

Posted by: Adam Male on 1 September 2016
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The landlords who dared to challenge the government’s so-called 'tenant tax' have had a date set for their hearing, in which they plan to haul HM Revenue and Customs over the hot coals.

Buy-to-let landlords Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper, will take to the stand on 6th October to carry out the next stage of the campaign that they launched in a bid to challenge former Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to restrict the amount of tax relief landlords are able to claim on mortgage interest - Section 24 of the Finance Act (No 2) Act 2015 (Formerly Clause 24).

The date has been pushed back from it's original mid-September schedule, after HMRC requested the change, noting that it's legal team were not available for the original dates.

Section 24, which is due to be phased in from April 2017 (and introduced over the course of four years), means that the amount of income tax relief that landlords can get on residential property finance costs will be restricted to the basic rate of tax. The changes will affect all landlords who let residential properties as an individual, in a partnership or trust.

Bolton and Cooper believe that the changes, if introduced, would cause the dominio effect of a hike in rents for millions of tenants, the forced sale of thousands of rented properties and a subsequent increase in homelessness - so they decided to do something about it!

The court case has been funded by crowd-funding, with the pair raising a whopping £101,000 through crowdfunding websites, mainly boosted by frustrated landlords who hope to see the taxes axed. The budget will be spent on legal representation by none other than Cherie Blair’s company Omnia Strategy LLP, which Bolton and Cooper hope will give them a good chance of victory!
 Q&A: I have a tenant living in my granny annexe. Am I a residential landlord, and what are the rules?

Posted by: Adam Male on 31 August 2016
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I have a tenant living in my converted ‘granny annexe’. Am I a resident landlord, and what rules do I have to follow?



A resident landlord someone who lets part of their only or main residential home. In law, a resident landlord letting is one where the landlord and their tenant(s) live in the same building, including situations where the tenant may live in a conversion in a different part of the property – a ‘granny annexe’ for example.

This is a fairly common practice, however, there are some quite difference rules to the normal landlord/tenant relationship.

Tenancies granted by resident landlords are not ASTs – this is specifically set out in schedule 1 (10) of the Housing Act 1988.  This means that if you rent out self-contained accommodation in the same building that you live in yourself as a resident landlord, it is possible that the tenancy will fall under the ‘common law’ and slightly different rules will apply to those which apply to assured and assured shorthold tenancies.

In the case of a common law tenancies, the tenant’s rights and obligations are mainly dependent on the terms agreed between the parties (as written into the tenancy agreement).

If there are problems during the tenancy, the landlord can bring the common law tenancy to an end where there has been a breach of any of the specified terms in the tenancy agreement. You are not restricted to the prescribed terms laid down in Housing Acts. Resident landlords do have a greater freedom to end a tenancy arrangement, because it is acknowledged that should the relationship between landlord and tenant break down, the landlord is more vulnerable in his or her own home.

Generally, common law tenancies do not afford tenants the same protection regarding security of tenure and statutory continuation, so section 21 and section 8 notices and possession procedures do not apply. However, the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 still applies, meaning that in the case of a common law residential tenant refusing to leave, a court order will be required.

With regards to safety measures, (such as gas safety requirements etc.),  you still must comply with the same requirements as a non-resident landlord. You must ensure that

  •  An annual gas safety check is carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • The electrical system in the property is safe, and well maintained
  • A smoke alarm is provided on every storey of the property, and a carbon monoxide alarm is provided in each room with a solid fuel burning appliance
  • There is clear access to fire escapes at all times