Landlord and Tenant Legal Developments following compulsory Landlord Registration
Since 23rd November 2015, all landlords operating in Wales must become registered. Landlords have a year to comply with this new obligation.
If you own property in Wales that you don’t live in but allow someone else to live in that property (as their main residence) and they pay money to live there and the property is rented on an assured, assured short hold or regulated tenancy, you are a landlord and must become registered. This new requirement comes from Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
The landlord of a dwelling subject to, or marketed or offered for let under, a domestic tenancy must be registered under this Part in respect of the dwelling
Failure to Register
A landlord who fails to Register contravenes subsection (1) of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 and commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. In addition, a landlord may not be able to recover rent. Under S.30 of the Act a Residential Property Tribunal may make an (a “rent stopping order”).
Rent Stopping Order
A rent stopping order stops the landlord recovering rent from the tenant and all other rights and obligations under the tenancy continue unaffected. Any periodical payments stopped by the order but made by a tenant of the dwelling (whether before or after the stopping date) must be repaid by the landlord.
Rent Repayment Order
A landlord’s failure to comply with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 could result in a rent repayment order.
A “rent repayment order” is an order made in relation to a dwelling which requires the landlord to repay to the applicant, who may be the tenant, or the local authority such amount awarded by the Residential Property Tribunal in respect of awards of universal credit or the housing benefit paid as mentioned in the House Wales Act to the periodical payments paid by the tenant as specified by the aforementioned.
In order to register, a landlord must provide accurate and up-to-date information about themselves and their rental properties in Wales. The Landlord must satisfy the licensing authority that the landlord is a fit and proper person to be licensed and all training specified has been undertaken and fees paid.
Landlords’ Agents must also be registered as per S.11 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014
Requirement for agents to be licensed to carry out property management work
A person acting on behalf of the landlord of a dwelling subject to a domestic tenancy must not carry out property management work in respect of the dwelling unless licensed to carry out property management work.
It should also be noted that domestic landlords must not appoint or continue to allow a person to undertake lettings work on their behalf of the landlord in relation to their Welsh domestic property if the person does not hold a licence to do so under Housing (Wales) Act 2014. A landlord who appoints an unregistered agent is liable on summary conviction to a fine.
Landlords duty to update information
A landlord who is registered under section 15 in relation to a rental property must notify the licensing authority in writing of the following changes—
(a) any change in the name under which the landlord is registered;
(b) the appointment of a person to carry out lettings work or property management work on behalf of the landlord in respect of the rental property;
(c) that a person who the landlord has previously appointed to carry out lettings work or property management work on behalf of the landlord in respect of the rental property has ceased to do so;
(d) any assignment of the landlord’s interest in the rental property;
A landlord most notify the licensing authority within 28 days beginning with the first day on which the landlord knew, or should have known, of the change.
Landlords Revocation of Registration
A licensing authority may revoke the registration of any landlord who—
(a) Provides false or misleading information in an application
(b) Contravenes section 16;
(c) Fails to pay any further fee charged under section 15.
A revocation of Registration may be appealed within 28 days of notice of Registration.