Unsure what Rent Smart Wales is about, do not worry here below are FAQ
Rent Smart Wales also known as RSW is currently being administered from the offices of Cardiff Council. Registration of agent and landlords under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 issuing processed from Cardiff. Registration of agent and landlords under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 will not be processed by other local authorities in wales, this has been centralised (Cardiff) to save costs and increase efficiency.
Landlord Accreditation Wales transfer: What have RSW done?
On the 29th of March RSW transferred all of the training records and information for nearly 4,500 members of Landlord Accreditation Wales (LAW) to the Rent Smart Wales system. In this process RSW have either created a personal user account on the RSW website or updated an existing one. Within your personal user account you can complete a Landlord Registration, License as a Landlord/Agent and book or complete training.
Why has RSW done this?
RSW have transferred this information to there Rent Smart Wales system to make the transition for RSW Landlord Accreditation Wales (LAW) members easier.
With the new law for landlords and agents in Wales to comply with, RSW wish to help people who previously signed up to LAW transition into the new legal system. RSW have done this by migrating most of the information you provided when you signed up to LAW into your Rent Smart Wales user account. This user account also includes a record of the training that LAW members attended when they were originally accredited, allowing them to qualify for a Licence without having to repeat that training; they may only need to complete an online top up to let them know all about the new Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
What do I need to do?
Landlord – If you are a Landlord in Wales then you will need to make sure that your properties are registered. You can do this via the RSW website in your personal user account. When you log into your account you can create a new registration and then apply for a Landlord Licence if you are responsible for managing your properties. You may also need to complete a training top up to qualify for your Licence.
If you are a Landlord, or an employee of a landlord, who completed training with LAW before the 6th August 2015, you will need to complete the free online top up course “Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014: An Overview”. You can book this now by accessing your Training Record in your personal user account. Please note that the online top ups are only free for the first 3 months for LAW members (until 29th June 2016).
If you completed LAWs training on or after the 6th August 2015 then your training record is sufficient for your Licence. Your training course will have included all the information about the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, so you will not need to complete the further top up training course.
Agent – If you are an Agent, or the employee of an Agent, that is instructed by a Landlord to carry out letting/management work for a rental property in Wales, then you will need to apply for an Agent Licence. You can complete this via your personal user account on the Rent Smart Wales website.
You will also need to complete a training top up to qualify for your licence. As an Agent you will always need to complete the free online “Supplementary Agent Development Training Course”. You can book this now by accessing your Training Record in your personal user account.
I have received an email from Rent Smart Wales, what is it for?
If the RSW have created a new user account for you in the transfer you will now have received an email. This email informs you that you now have a user account and confirms what your username is for Rent Smart Wales. In most cases this will be the same username and password that you had for the Landlord Accreditation Wales website. If your username was already taken by another user then the email will tell you the new one that you have been allocated.
This email also contains a link to the website to allow you to log in. Once you have logged in you will have access to everything described above, via your personal user account.
What if I don’t have an email address?
If you do not have an email address or did not input one into the LAW website, Rent Smart Wales will not be able to send you your log in details via email.
Instead Rent Smart Wales will be sending the information out to you in the post. This may also mean that you have to complete paper Registration and Licensing forms. Please get in contact with Rent Smart Wales to let Rent Smart Wales know if you need these sent out as well.
If you do now have an email address and want to access the website online, you can contact RSW on 03000 133344 and they can add this to your account and send you an email to allow you access.
I already have an account with Rent Smart Wales and so I have not had my training record automatically transferred over. What do I need to do?
If you have previously created a user account with Rent Smart Wales RSW will not be creating you a duplicate account. RSW have been keeping a track of Landlord Accreditation Wales members who have created Rent Smart Wales user accounts and RSW have tried not to include any of those in the transfer. RSW will manually go into your account and uploading your training record. Once this is done, RSW will let you know and you will be able to continue with the process, either by applying for a Licence or completing the necessary top ups.
If you have already created a user account but you have also had an email from us telling you about a new account, then RSW may have missed your account in there crosschecks. If you contact Rent Smart Wales to let Rent Smart Wales know, Rent Smart Wales will be able to merge your training record with the original user account that you created. Once this is done Rent Smart Wales will let you know and you will be able to complete any top ups and applications that you need.
I am a landlord in Wales; how do I register and what do I have to do?
The cheapest and easiest way to register is on-line. This can be done through the Rent Smart Wales website. First you must create an account on the website, and then you will be guided through the registration process.
Before you start you will need the following things:
If you are an individual landlord
If you are part of a joint landlord arrangement
If you are a company/charity landlord
If you are a trustee for a rental property in Wales
If you are an individual landlord:
The registration will ask for your name, date of birth, correspondence details and then the full address of each rental property in Wales you are the landlord for. It is best to have the postcode of your rentals to help you input the correct details in the on-line form. You must then pay the landlord fee of £33.50 to complete your registration. Payment can be made on-line.
If you complete your registration using the paper form the fee is £80.50 and you can pay over the phone.
Once you have completed your registration you will receive confirmation and be provided with a unique registration number.
If you self-manage any rentals you register, you must then proceed to apply for a landlord licence. To find out more about this process, read the ‘how to obtain a landlord licence’ section.
If anyone other than you undertakes any letting or management work at one of your rental properties in Wales, they are called an agent and they will need to become licensed. Letting and property management work is doing things, for instance, like marketing and setting up a domestic tenancy with new tenants (often termed let-only services), or managing a tenancy for you.
Read the full definition of letting and management work here.
Any agent you instruct will need to be declared by you on your registration against the rental address they let or manage. This agent must apply for a licence. It is best to have your agent’s full details (including full trading name and e-mail address and licence number if they already have one) in order to put their correct details on your registration.
If you are part of a joint landlord arrangement:
The registration will ask you to identify yourself as the lead landlord for registration purposes. You will then have to provide your name, date of birth, correspondence details and also the name and date of birth of the other joint landlords. You will also have to provide the full address of each rental property in Wales you jointly own. It is best to have the postcodes of the rentals to help you input the correct details on the on-line form. You must then pay the landlord fee of £33.50 to complete your registration. Payment can be made on-line.
If you complete your registration using the paper form the fee is £80.50 and you can pay over the phone.
Once you have completed the registration you will receive confirmation and be provided with a unique registration number for the joint landlord arrangement.
If you self-manage any rentals you register, you will then need to proceed with applying for a licence. To find out more about this process, read the Rent Smart Wales ‘how to obtain a landlord licence’ section on there website.
If a joint landlord who is not the lead landlord for registration purposes does any letting or management activities at a property on the register, they must separately obtain a landlord licence. The lead landlord for registration purposes must declare this licensable landlord in the registration against any rental address they act at.
If anyone else, other than the registering landlord (or another joint landlord) undertakes any letting or management work at one of your rental properties in Wales, they are called an agent and they will need to become licensed. Letting and property management work is doing things, for instance, like marketing and setting up the tenancy with new tenants (often termed let-only services), or managing a tenancy for you. Read the full definition of letting and management work here.
Any agent you instruct will need to be declared by you on your registration against the rental address they act at. This agent must apply for a licence. It is best to have your agent’s full details (including full trading name and e-mail address and licence number if they already have one) in order to put their correct details on your registration.
If you are a company/charity landlord:
If you are part of a company/charity who is a landlord you must complete the registration providing the company/charity details, including any Companies House or other relevant Registration number. Otherwise you work through the process the same as if you are an individual named person.
If you are a trustee for a rental property in Wales:
If the property is owned in trust, one trustee can register the property under the collective name of the trust.
I am part of a joint landlord arrangement – how do RSW go about registering?
Joint landlords simply register through one registration. Each landlord does not need to register individually and pay the fee twice if all the properties on the registration are jointly owned. However, someone in the joint arrangement must take the ‘lead’ for the process and simply name and provide the date of birth for the other landlord’s during the registration process.
The lead person who is going to complete the registration starts the process by clicking the apply button (right hand side of the menu bar), and simply follows the landlord registration process. If the lead person already has an account set up with Rent Smart Wales, they simply need to log in, go to ‘My Account Summary’ once in ‘My Dashboard’, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘new landlord registration’.
When the lead person starts a registration it will ask them to select from a drop down box what type of landlord they are, and here they select joint landlords. During the registration it will prompt to provide information on the other joint landlords. On the registration the lead person will declare who carries out the letting and management and the rental properties being registered.
In regards to the training and applying for a licence, any landlord part of a joint arrangement who carries out letting and management at a rental property in Wales where they are a landlord will need to attend training and gain separate landlord licences. A list of the relevant activities someone requires a landlord licence to carry out can be found on the RSW website.
RSW website also has a landlord licence application checklist that can be viewed here which might be of interest.
I want to register on-line but I am the landlord for a lot of rental properties in Wales. Is there a way I can upload my properties to the register rather than input them individually?
The online process works best when all the properties are individually added to your registration. However, there is now the functionality to import multiple records at the same time, making the process faster and easier for landlords to add a moderate or large number of registered properties. RSW have created a guide on there website in order to help you with this process.
Can an agent register on behalf of a landlord?
Only the landlord can complete the registration. This will either be the individual named landlord, a lead named landlord on behalf of a joint arrangement, or a member of the company, charity or trust who is the landlord. An agent or someone else cannot do it on behalf of a landlord. 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.
The registration process can be completed on-line and therefore can be done by a landlord quickly and easily from wherever they may be based.
How much does it cost to register as a landlord?
A landlord registration costs £33.50 if completed on-line and £80.50 if done on a paper application form.
This is the cost for each landlord registration, no matter how many rental properties in Wales are included in the registration. A separate registration must be done for each landlord arrangement a landlord is part of; so if a landlord was registering some properties in sole ownership, some as part of a joint landlord arrangement and also some in company ownership this would be three separate registrations, so three fees would be payable.
A higher fee is charged for a paper application as it takes more time for Rent Smart Wales to process.
What information is made publicly available about a registered landlord or licensed landlord/agent?
The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 states in Schedule 1 what information must be provided about a registered landlord, property or licensed landlord or agent if a request is made to the Licensing Authority.
You can obtain this information using RSW public register searching by property address, landlord’s name, agent’s name or landlord and agent reference numbers.
What are the fees collected for landlord registration and landlord and agent licensing used for?
Money received in fees will pay for the running costs of Rent Smart Wales. This includes work to make sure licensed people comply with their licence conditions, complaints from tenant’s are investigated and proactive enforcement work is undertaken by local authorities in Wales to make sure those people who try to ignore their legal obligations are made to comply or face sanctions.
Fee income is not collected to make a profit.
Do I need to include rental properties I have outside of Wales in my registration?
You do not need to include the addresses of any rental property you own outside of Wales on your registration. Only properties located in Wales need to be declared.
How to obtain a landlord licence and how long does it last?
You can apply for a licence online on this website. In order to do so you must first create a personal account.
You can request a paper licence application form by contacting Rent Smart Wales on 03000 133344 or you can download a form to complete and return by post (for the paper fee) on Rent Smart Wales website Resource Page.
To submit a valid licence application, all the information required must be submitted, the correct fee must be paid, evidence of suitable landlord training must be provided and the ‘fit and proper’ person declaration must be completed.
The training that a landlord must do in order to obtain a licence can either be done direct with Rent Smart Wales, or an approved course can be completed with a training provider authorised by Rent Smart Wales. To read more about the licensing training requirement go to the ‘what training must I do to obtain a licence?’ section.
Once a complete licence application is submitted to Rent Smart Wales it will be assessed to determine if a licence can be granted. This will involve confirming the application is complete and the correct fee has been paid. Rent Smart Wales must also be satisfied the landlord is ‘fit and proper’ (by ensuring they have no relevant convictions against them) and confirm the training completed by the applicant and/or their staff as part of the application is suitable for licensing purposes. Licences can be refused if the applicant is not deemed ‘fit and proper’.
If a licence is awarded the landlord will receive notification of their unique licence number and the conditions attached to their licence. The landlord will also receive a licence card in the post.
How long does a licence last?
Once a landlord is licensed it lasts for 5 years. During that time the applicant must keep the information in their licence application up to date (for instance updating correspondence details if they change) and also comply with the conditions of the licence. One condition will always be to adhere to the Code of Practice. The Code of Practice has been created by the Welsh Government as a way to ensure a consistent standard of letting and management practice in Wales.
If a licence holder fails to comply with any condition of their licence, or is no longer ‘fit and proper’, their licence can be revoked. This is a serious action as it would mean a landlord could no longer control the letting and management activities at their rental properties. Instead they would have to instruct a licensed agent to do the work on their behalf.