We have decided to no longer provide training for Rent Smart Wales.

Anybody wishing to obtain training for their Rent Smart Wales licence, should visit the Rent Smart Wales website.

If you would like a replacement certificate from training previously provided by us, please use the contact form below and ensure you provide the registered email address.

FAQs
Is a licence required for all types of tenancy in Wales?

The registration and licensing requirements apply where a dwelling in Wales is being offered for let, or is subject to, a ‘domestic tenancy’.

A ‘domestic tenancy’ is an assured shorthold tenancy under the Housing Act 1988 (the most common type of tenancy which applies to most rented property in Wales) or a regulated tenancy under the Rent Act 1977. The provisions do not apply if you rent to lodgers or if the tenancy cannot be an assured shorthold tenancy for some reason.

More FAQs are available on the Rent Smart Wales website here.

I'm an agent, do I need a licence?

Any person who performs lettings or property management work on a ‘domestic tenancy’ must have a licence when enforcement of the Rent Smart Wales provisions starts on 23 November 2016. There is a grace period of 12 months from 23 November 2015.

All letting and managing agents who let or manage property subject to a domestic tenancy in Wales must obtain a licence.

All licenses will need to be applied for through Rent Smart Wales and will involve some training which is what we can provide.

Lettings Work

An agent will require a licence if the agent is to carry out any lettings work. This means anything done by any person in response to instructions from:

  • a person seeking to find another person wishing to rent a dwelling under a domestic tenancy and, having found such a person, to grant such a tenancy (“a prospective landlord”), or
  • a person seeking to find a dwelling to rent under a domestic tenancy and having found such a dwelling, to obtain such a tenancy of it (“a prospective tenant”).

Property Management Work

Further, an agent will need a licence if the agent wishes to carry out property management work. This means doing any of the following things:

  • 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;
  • serving notice to terminate a tenancy.

Please see our agent’s guide to Rent Smart Wales licensing and training.

More FAQs are available on the Rent Smart Wales website here.

I'm a landlord - do I need a licence?

All landlords must register but only self-managing landlords require a licence. If a landlord prefers, they can use a licensed agent.

A landlord will need a licence in addition to registration if the landlord is to carry out any one or more lettings activities. Those activities are:

  • 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.

Further, a landlord will need a licence if the landlord is to carry out any one or more property management activities. Those activities are:

  • 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;
  • serving notice to terminate a tenancy.

As a starting point, all named landlord’s on a tenancy agreement will require a licence because they will be a named contact for the tenancy and may need to serve a notice to terminate the tenancy in the future.

Please see our landlord’s guide to Rent Smart Wales registration, licensing and training.

More FAQs are available on the Rent Smart Wales website here.

Are there exemptions from requiring a licence?

Exemptions for agents

If an agent only publishes advertisements or disseminating information providing a means by which:

  • a prospective landlord (or the prospective landlord’s agent) or a prospective tenant can, in response to an advertisement or dissemination of information, make direct contact with a prospective tenant or (as the case may be) prospective landlord (or the prospective landlord’s agent), and
  • a prospective landlord (or the prospective landlord’s agent) and a prospective tenant can continue to communicate directly with each other.

And, the agent does no other lettings work or property management work in respect of the property, then, a licence is not required. This will include agents who simply provide an advertisement (on Rightmove for example) and pass the prospective landlord details to the prospective tenant who make direct contact and the landlord carries out viewings themselves etc. However, if such an agent wishes to offer a further service of granting a tenancy on behalf of the landlord for example, a licence will be required if the dwelling is in Wales.

Further, a licence is not required if the only thing a person does is any one (but not more than one) of the following things:

  • arranging and conducting viewings with prospective tenants;
  • preparing, or arranging the preparation of, the tenancy agreement;
  • preparing, or arranging the preparation of, any inventory or schedule of condition;

Nor must the person do any letting or property management work for this exemption to apply. This allows firms which only prepare inventories for example to not require a licence as long as they don’t do any other letting or property management work.

If a person does any one of the following things (and only one of the following) and does no lettings work whatsoever, no licence will be required:

  • 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;
  • serving notice to terminate a tenancy.

For example, this exemption would allow a person to serve a possession notice without requiring a licence (as long as they do no other lettings or management activities).

Landlord exemptions from requiring a licence

If a property has been purchased with an existing tenant in place and the owner does not intend to continue renting to the tenant and intends to occupy the property as their home, the owner does not need a licence if they take steps to recover possession within 28 days from when it was assigned to them and as long as they “continue to diligently pursue the recovery of possession”. As with registration, advice should be sought in this situation because failure to have a licence could seriously affect possession. It might be a better solution to pass management of the property (including serving possession notices) to a licensed agent.

More FAQs are available on the Rent Smart Wales website here.

I'm a landlord and I've just purchased a rented property - when must I have applied by?

If a property has been recently purchased with an intention to rent it out, a licence must be applied for within 28 days from when the property has been assigned to the landlord.

Please see our landlord’s guide to Rent Smart Wales registration, licensing and training.

More FAQs are available on the Rent Smart Wales website here.

I'm an unlicensed landlord and I employ a licensed agent - can I check the condition of my property?

Absolutely not!

A landlord must not check the contents or condition of the dwelling, or arrange for them to be checked, for any purpose connected with the tenancy or a previous tenancy without a licence. A similar provision applies for agents, the effect being that only a licensed landlord or agent will ever be able to determine the return of a deposit after the end of a tenancy (or a specialist inventory clerk that does not need a licence).

Even a landlord who employs a licensed agent might wish to obtain a licence themselves too. This would allow flexibility and the ability to carry out lettings and management activities throughout a tenancy.

Please see our landlord’s guide to Rent Smart Wales registration, licensing and training.

I own a property and my husband also owns a property. I do all the work. What do I need?

Firstly, contrary to what it says on the Rent Smart Wales website, the legislation is not interested in “ownership” but is interested in who is the “immediate landlord”. See section 2 Housing (Wales) Act 2014 for the definition of landlord and then see sections 4 – 8 which requires all “landlords” to register and in certain cases obtain a licence.

Therefore, if you are the landlord for both properties, only you need register and obtain a landlord licence.

However, if you are both individual landlords and you are named as landlord on the tenancy for the property you own and your husband is named as landlord for the property he owns, you will both need to have your own individual registration.

Then, assuming you’re managing both yours and your husbands property, you will need an “agent” licence. As you likely don’t have any staff, you will be entitled to the cheaper agent licence fee of £144 (online and at the time of writing). This will last five years and will allow you to mange both your own property and other peoples (including your husbands).

As a condition of the agent licence you will need “agent” training which has extra content to the landlord training. You can do this on our website for £39 (at the time of writing).

When your husband registers, he will need to nominate you as his licensed agent. Your registration won’t need to nominate an agent because you will possess a licence.

I'm a landlord going on holiday - can a relative look after my property?

A problem arises for self managing landlords if they wish to take time off or are forced to by hospital treatment. This is because of the strict requirement not to employ an unlicensed agent.

If a friend or relative wanted to assist with the management of a property whilst a landlord was away for a period, that friend or relative would need an agent licence before being able to assist because they are not the “immediate landlord” but are instead acting on instructions from the landlord.

One way round this problem might be to utilise the “connected persons” provisions briefly discussed earlier, whereby lettings work or property management work does not include, doing things under a contract of service or apprenticeship with a landlord.

A contract of service is a legal term for people working for the landlord (staff) and are known in the legislation as a “connected person”. All connected persons must be notified in any application for a licence and it will be a condition of any licence that connected persons complete the training requirements. A connected person can be added or removed throughout the lifetime of the licence.

If the friend or relative were a bona fide employee of the landlord, they would be able to carry out the letting or management activities at the property assuming they had completed the training within the appropriate time-scales.

If the friend or relative is themselves a landlord (and they have a licence and have completed the training), they still would not be able to look after another landlord’s property even for a short time unless they had an agent’s licence (or if they were the landlord’s connected person).

I have staff who only look after business accounts - must they complete the training?

Any person on a contract of service (employed by the agent) or on an apprenticeship with the landlord or agent does not need to obtain a licence. Such a person is known as a “connected person”. The landlord or agents licence will contain conditions that all ‘connected persons’ must complete the training.

Staff or apprentices will require training if they do any one or more of the following:

Lettings work

  • publishing advertisements or disseminating information;
  • arranging and conducting viewings with prospective tenants;
  • preparing, or arranging the preparation of, the tenancy agreement;
  • preparing, or arranging the preparation of, any inventory or schedule of condition;

Property Management Work

  • 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;
  • serving notice to terminate a tenancy.

A person not doing any one of the above mentioned activities (for example only looking after the agents business accounts) will not require the training. It must be made clear to them that they must not undertake any of the above activities in the event of short staff for example without having completed the training.

Please see our agent’s guide to Rent Smart Wales licensing and training.

More FAQs are available on the Rent Smart Wales website here.

Free Landlord Handbook For Wales

Wales landlord handbook

We have produced a helpful landlord handbook which is available for free for anyone who signs up to our weekly digest of articles posted by the Guild of Residential Landlords. Please note some articles may require a Guild subscription to fully access.

The handbook was originally developed for England and Wales jointly but as legislation changes between the two, this handbook has been especially adapted for Wales only.

If you have already signed up, download the handbook here.

There is also an England edition of the handbook for mailing list subscribers here.

Wales Handbook Updates

Current version – February 2017

02/17 – Incorporated the new The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 and The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016. A few other minor amendments.

Previous versions

01/16 – General overhaul to the entire book. New sections have been added and many parts have had small changes. Quite a big update to the manual.

Contact Us

Other contact

T: 0292 000 3427

E: training[at]landlordsguild.com

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