The RLA’s Landlord Advice Team is on hand to offer free unlimited advice to members. Each week, we are featuring a call from one of our members outlining their problems and looking at how the team helped them.
Over the last couple of years Welsh and English housing law has been growing further and further apart. While the changes are confusing for landlords in England or Wales, they are doubly so for landlords with properties in both.
One of our members called last week after running into some issues with the service of a Section 8 notice. The tenant had been informed by Shelter Cymru that the Section 8 in question was defective as they had submitted the Section 8 form for use in England.
The landlord was confused by this as they believed that being based in England they were supposed to follow the rules for housing in England. Unfortunately the LAT adviser had to let them know that even though they live across the border in England they had to follow the laws in Wales.
He directed them to our Wales only Section 8 form and also asked them if they were up to date on the new Rent Smart Wales licensing scheme? As it turns out they were not.
Luckily for this landlord he still had plenty of time to fix this so the advice team member went through what he would need to do.
By November 23rd 2016 he needs to register all his properties in Wales at the Rent Smart Wales website.
Our adviser also asked him whether or not he employed an agent. He did, but as he lived close to the border he said ‘he did a few bits and bobs like repairs’ himself. We let him know that he would have to make sure that his agents had applied for the licence themselves but also that, because he performed some management activities, he would need to apply for a licence himself or be completely hands off. We directed him to the list of management activities in our guide on Rent Smart Wales.
We also let him know that when he applies for the licence he will need to go on a training course. As an RLA member he is entitled to the discounted rate on the training courses of £75.
Rupinder Aujla, Advice Team Manager said: “There is a lot of confusion about Rent Smart Wales and what landlords must do in terms of their responsibilities and getting a licence to register their property.
The differences between England and Wales are very pronounced and landlords and agents must ensure they are using and serving the correct documents.”
If in doubt please call Landlord Advice Team on 03330 142 998 or RLA Wales on 02920 027593.