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Rent Smart Wales & The Housing (Wales) Act 2014

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Fri 20 Nov 2015

Rent Smart Wales & The Housing (Wales) Act 2014

The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 is now in force having received Royal Assent on 17 September 2014.

As of the 23 November 2015 the Act will introduce provisions and obligations to landlords and agents with the aim to improve standards in the private rented sector in Wales. The key change is the requirement for landlords to be licensed and then registered if they wish to be involved in the management of their property portfolio. Landlords will need to be suitably trained and deemed ‘fit and proper’ to achieve this. Whilst every landlord must be registered, licensing is only a requirement if you are deemed to undertake letting or property management activities at a rental property in  Wales. If a landlord instructs an agent to look after their property then it is the agent that must be licensed.

There will be a 12 month grace period for landlords who need to register, and agents and landlords looking to be licensed. After the 12 month period it will become an offence to operate without registration or license.

What is deemed as letting or property management activities?

Letting Activities

  • 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.

Property Management Activities

  • collecting rent;
  • being the principal point of contact for the tenant in relation to matters arising under the tenancy;
  • making arrangements with the 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 fro them to be checked;
  • serving notice to terminate a tenancy.

 Rent Smart Wales is the brand name for the new requirements and will be the body in place with a website and helpline as arrange by the licensing authority for the whole of Wales, Cardiff Council.