Due to an increasing amount of ‘red tape’ put in place in recent years, many landlords have taken the decision to instruct an agent to manage their properties on their behalf. We fulfil Rent Smart Wales’ criteria required for an agent license, meaning we’re permitted to act as a managing agent. We’re here to help landlords comply with the new legislation imposed on them by the Rent Smart Wales landlord registration and licensing scheme.

All self-managing landlords must complete Training!

If you’re a landlord who carries out any form of property management duties, i.e. you do not use a letting agent such as Lloyd Herbert & Jones to manage your property on a day to day basis, you will need to complete training before you’re able to get your Rent Smart Wales landlord license.

What is Rent Smart Wales?

Rent Smart Wales is the product of the Welsh Government’s bid to “improve the image” of the private rented sector. It puts a requirement on every landlord of a rented property in Wales to register with the scheme, while those who self-manage must also obtain a license from 23rd November 2016.

Landlords need to decide whether to apply for a license or hand over management of their property to a licensed agent. The Rent Smart Wales website contains a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section, but the scheme can be summarized as follows:

The two main requirements for landlords

  • As a landlord, you must register with your name, address, date of birth, e-mail address, telephone number and addresses of every property you let out in Wales.
  • A license. If you carry out any tenant-finding or day-to-day property management-related duties – a full list of which can be found here – you must be licensed. However, if you use a managing agent, then it’s the agent who must be licensed.

How to register

  • Registration can easily be done online. (please refer to their website for charges).
  • If your contact details change, you are required by the local authority to update your record. Likewise, if you sell an existing buy-to-let property or buy a new one, you must make these changes.
  • Registration is valid for 5 years. Upon expiry, a new registration must be made, along with payment of a new fee.
  • The registration process must be completed by the landlord and cannot be done by an agent. This is because the person completing the registration has to verify that the information being registered is true and accurate, and they are personally responsible for the record.

How to obtain a license (in order to manage properties)

  • Applying for a license can be done online
  • However if you have a portfolio of more than 20, you will need an “agents” license.
  • Landlords must undertake relevant training before being granted a license, which is at an additional cost to the license itself.

If you have already completed Landlord Accreditation Wales training course, there will be a short, free, online top-up training session made available to you.

  • Only one license is required, regardless of the number of properties you manage.
  • The license holder must be deemed a ‘fit and proper person’ and must comply with a Welsh Minister-approved Code of Practice containing letting and management standards in relation to rented properties.
  • Licenses are valid for 5 years. Upon expiry, a new application must be made, along with payment of a new fee.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I already have a HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) license for my rented property. Do I need to register and obtain a license via Rent Smart Wales as well?

HMO LICENSING and Rent Smart Wales are two entirely different pieces of legislation, so holding a HMO license does not alter the requirements put on landlords by Rent Smart Wales. Rent Smart Wales operates on a per landlord basis, whereas HMO licensing operates on a per property basis.

I’m going to register myself as a landlord online, but I own many different properties in Wales. Can I upload them in bulk, rather than input them individually?

Yes, you can. There will be functionality available for landlords to upload multiple properties in one go.

I have buy-to-let properties inside and outside of Wales. Do I need to declare them all when registering?

No, only the properties in Wales need to be listed.

I use a managing agent who handles everything on my behalf. Can they register me as a landlord?

No, unfortunately not. At present, only the landlord can complete the registration because they have to verify that the information being registered is true and accurate.

What will the fees paid by landlords and agents be used for?

Rent Smart Wales states that the fees are not collected to make a profit. Instead, they will be put towards the running costs of the scheme, which includes ensuring landlords who try to ignore their legal obligations, are pursued and punished accordingly. The scheme will also investigate complaints made by tenants.

I jointly own a rental property with someone else, and we manage it between us. Do we both need to register and obtain a license?

Yes. One of you can register as the “lead” landlord and list both persons’ details on the registration, but bear in mind that you will need a landlord license each as you both do property management activities.

I own some properties individually and some jointly. Who needs to register, and who needs to obtain a license?

You will need to complete one registration for the properties you own solely, and a separate registration for the ones owned jointly (either owner can complete this). Only the individuals who complete letting or management activity will need to apply for a license.

I am Landlord with LHJ, what should I do next and what are my obligations?

In cases where Lloyd Herbert & Jones fully manage, Lloyd Herbert & Jones’ agent’s license covers the landlord and no training is required on the landlord’s part. You will be charged £100 plus vat, towards our agents’ license. Please note due to data protection the landlord still needs to create a user profile by registering their details and the properties details.