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Farmers warned about new Welsh letting laws

The Welsh Assembly has introduced Rent Smart Wales as part of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

Farmers and property owners in Wales with private rented houses now have new little known legal requirements to meet - including registering their rental properties and becoming licensed.

 

It comes at a price, too, with fees having to be paid.

 

The Welsh Assembly has introduced Rent Smart Wales as part of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 to improve the standard and management of rented housing.

 

Suitably trained

 

“It means people who are directly involved in letting and managing rental properties will have to become suitably trained to do such activities,” says Eifion Bibby, of Davis Meade Property Consultants.

 

“Under the new regime, landlords have until November 23, 2016 to ensure they are trained and registered or otherwise pass the management of the property on to a registered letting agent.

 

“You will need to register if you rent out a property in Wales on an assured, assured shorthold or regulated tenancy,” he added.

 

“But if someone, such as a relative, lives rent-free in a property you own or you have a holiday home let, you are not a landlord under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 and do not need to register with Rent Smart Wales.

 

Agricultural holdings

 

“Tenancies of agricultural holdings which include houses or cottages under the 1986 Agricultural holdings Act and the 1995 Agricultural Tenancies Act, at present appear to be excepted, however powers are reserved to incorporate them.

 

“The legislation implies that a tenant of an agricultural holding who sublets a dwelling will become a landlord for the purpose of the Act.

 

“As agricultural dwellings are complex, farmers with employees in farm dwellings will need to contact Rent Smart Wales and explain the arrangement they have to ascertain whether or not they will need to register.

 

“The registration must be kept up-to-date and will last for five years, after which it must renewed and another fee paid. A landlord registration costs £33.50 if completed on-line and £80.50 if done on a paper application form.

 

Five-year licence

 

Licensing applies either to the landlord or agent, or both depending on who carries out the letting and management activities at the rental property in Wales.

 

“The licence will last five years with the fee currently at £144.00. However, once the functionality is available within the Rent Smart Wales website to complete a licence application on line, paper application fees will increase to £186.00.

 

“Landlords who do not wish to have a licence can still continue renting their properties by arranging for a licensed agent to do the letting work on their behalf,” added Mr Bibby.

 

  • He can be contacted at DMPC on 01492 510360 or by email at eifionbibby@dmpropertyconsultants.com
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