I let a property in Cardiff. What do I need to do in preparation for Rent Smart Wales?

Question

I let and self-manage a property in Cardiff. What do I have to do to comply with the new Rent Smart Wales scheme?

Answer

The new Rent Smart Wales scheme is a compulsory licensing and registration scheme which requires landlords to:

  • Register their properties
  • Have a Landlords Licence if managing a property themselves
  • Demonstrate they are fit and proper to hold a licence
  • Undertake training in order to obtain the licence

You need to be in receipt of a property registration number and a Landlords Licence by 23 November.

Be aware that it takes anything from 2 to 8 weeks for the paperwork to be processed, so you need to register asap.You could face a fine between £200 to an unlimited amount, if not completed in time.

Register your property

The cheapest and easiest way to register is online at Rent Smart Wales. You will need your name, date of birth, correspondence details and the full address and postcode of any rental property in Wales you are the landlord for. Note: if you are a Landlord Accreditation Wales (LAW) member some information has been automatically transferred.

You can download a paper Landlord Registration form.

Once you have completed your registration you will receive confirmation and be provided with a unique registration number.

It costs £33.50 to complete an online registration which is paid at the end of the process. If you use the paper form, the fee is £80.50 and you have to pay over the phone on 03000 133344.

Check whether you meet the criteria for a Landlord Licence

If you undertake any of the following at a property in Wales for which you are the landlord, then you need a licence:

  • Arranging or conducting viewings with prospective tenants
  • Gathering evidence for the purpose of establishing the suitability of prospective tenants (for example, by confirming character references, undertaking credit checks or interviewing a prospective tenant)
  • Preparing, or arranging the preparation, of a tenancy agreement
  • Preparing, or arranging the preparation, of an inventory for the dwelling or schedule of condition for the dwelling
  • Collecting rent
  • Being the principal point of contact for the tenant in relation to matters arising under the tenancy
  • Making arrangements with a person to carry out repairs or maintenance
  • Making arrangements with a tenant or occupier of the dwelling to secure access to the dwelling for any purpose
  • Checking the contents or condition of the dwelling, or arranging for them to be checked as part of a current tenancy or for one which has ended
  • Serving notice to terminate a tenancy

Sign up to a training course

If you undertake any of the activities above, you will need to have sufficient training before being issued with a Landlords Licence. Take a look at:

  • Rent Smart Wales and classroom online courses
  • External authorised trainers who offer online and classroom based learning.

Rent Smart Wales online Landlord Course covers the modules, The Housing (Wales) Act 2014; Registration; Licensing; Agents; Exemptions; Training; Pre-tenancy; Responsibilities and Liabilities of the landlord/letting agent; Setting up a Tenancy; During the Tenancy; Smoking and the Health Act 2006; Assessment. It costs £30.

The Rent Smart Wales classroom Landlords Course covers General Overview about Renting; Setting Up a Tenancy; Responsibilities and Liabilities; During Tenancy; Ending a Tenancy and Assessment. It lasts from 9.15am-4.30pm and costs £100.

Online and classroom courses are in English and Welsh.

Submit an application for a Landlord licence

  • Apply for a Landlord Licence (it is easier and cheaper to do on the Rent Smart Wales website)
  • Start by creating a personal account
  • Submit the information requested
  • Pay the fee
  • Submit evidence of suitable training
  • Complete the ‘fit and proper’ person declaration

You can download a paper Landlord Licence form here

To submit a valid licence application, all the information required must be submitted, the correct fee must be paid, evidence of suitable landlord training must be provided and the 'fit and proper' person declaration must be completed (checks are done to ensure applicants don’t have criminal records).

For an online application the cost is £144 and the paper application £186.

Get your unique licence number and licence card

Once a complete licence application is submitted it will be assessed to determine if a licence can be granted. If awarded, the landlord will receive notification of their unique licence number and the conditions attached to their licence, plus a licence card in the post

Keep your licence up to date and adhere to the Code of Practice

Once a landlord is licensed it lasts for 5 years. During that time the landlord must keep the information up to date (for instance updating correspondence details if they change) and also comply with the conditions of the licence. One condition is to adhere to the Code of Practice.

If a licence holder fails to comply with any condition of their licence, or is no longer ‘fit and proper’, their licence can be revoked.

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