Private Rented Sector Legislative Changes 2016


Landlords - Change is on its Way! (2016)

Welsh Government has an active agenda to transform housing in Wales. There will be new statutory responsibilities for Private Rented Sector Landlords in Wales from 2016 which form part of the new Welsh Housing Bill. Please note that ALL Landlords will have new responsibilities - whether you let 1 or 100 properties!

There is a second piece of housing legislation, the Welsh Renting Homes Bill which is also scheduled for 2016 and will bring additional changes for Private Rented Sector Landlords.

Below is a summary of the changes (subject to final approval);

Welsh Housing Bill

These changes will come into force in 2016;

1. REGISTER: You will be required to register yourself as a landlord and provide a list of each of your properties to your local authority. There will be a cost associated with Registration.  Please check the Rent Smart Wales Website for prices. (Website information below).  Please note that if you do not register, you could face a fine of up to £1,000.

2. LICENSE: If you self-manage your properties, you will have to obtain a license. In order to obtain one, you will have to do the following:

- A fee is to be paid for your license (please visit Rent Smart Wales Website for prices)

- Pass a Fit and Proper Person Test

- Adhere to a Code of Conduct.

- Attend and pass a one-day training course

- You will be issued a membership identification number, which you will be required to display on all property letting-related documents.

- Your license is valid for 5 years.

3. LETTING AGENTS will face the same Licensing and Accreditation requirements of Landlords in order to continue operating as Agents. If you do not wish to obtain a License, you have one of two options:

- Not let out your Property. If you do so without a License, you will be committing a criminal act. Local Authorities are also endowed with the power to issue a rent stopping order for "illegal" tenancies, i.e., if a Landlord lets out a Property without a License.

- Unlicensed Landlords who let out their Property, could also face financial penalties determined by the Courts, i.e., unlimited.

- Enlist the services of a Property Management Agency to oversee the Management of your Property.

FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE VISIT THE RENT SMART WALES WEBSITE HERE

Wales Renting Homes Bill

The Wales Renting Homes Bill sets out the new legal framework for conducting tenancies within the Private Rented Sector;

  • When a Private landlord lets out a property, there will now be only 2 legally recognised tenancy agreements: a) A 'Secure' Contract - which is modelled on the current secure tenancy issued by Local Authorities OR b) A 'Standard' Contract - which will take the place of the Assured Short Hold Tenancy and a minimum notice period of 2 months.
  • You will be required to provide your tenants with a written copy of their rental contract. If you fail to provide a written tenancy agreement under the proposed Bill, you could be sanctioned to the extent of two month's rent. And don't forget your landlord license identification number on your rental agreement. The contract will need to include your landlord license identification number, or you will not be complying with the statutory requirements of the Housing Bill and could face other sanctions.
  • Each rental contract must have a clear definition of "unacceptable behaviour" and "prohibited conduct" to cover issues relating to anti-social behaviour and domestic violence. Breaching these provisions could trigger possession proceedings.
  • Arrangements for starting and ending a tenancy will be standardised.
  • Your legal responsibility to protect deposits and provide prescribed information to the tenant still stand. But if you fail to protect the deposit under the proposed scheme, you could face a penalty up to three times the amount of the deposit.
  • You will be required to ensure that there are no Category 1 hazards under the Housing Health & Safety Rating System.
  • The proposals include abolishing the six-month moratorium on 'no fault' evictions.

FURTHER UPDATES TO FOLLOW

Residential Landlords Association

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is the leading voice for Landlords in England, Wales and Scotland. 

The RLA represents over 16,000+ Landlords with a combined portfolio of more than 150,000 properties and is committed to promoting the interests of Private Rented Sector Landlords by working with policymakers to ensure that undue constraints are not levelled against private landlords.

For further details (including membership) please visit www.rla.org.uk

 

National Landlords Association

The National Landlords Association (NLA) is the largest and leading association representing the Private Rented Sector in Wales.

The NLA will seek to safeguard Landlords legitimate interests in communicating with Local Authorities, Welsh Government, Westminster, Northern Irish and Scottish Governments.

For further information please visit: www.landlords.org.uk

Welsh Tenants

Welsh Tenants represents the voice for tenants in Wales and provide a range of services that includes information, social networking, training, development and support to tenants and tenant groups. Welsh Tenants also organise national conferences and regional events inviting guest speakers, service providers and vibrant discussion forums.

Service is FREE to Tenants.

For further information, visit: www.welshtenants.org.uk

Rent Smart Wales Scheme - Registration and Licensing