The RLA recently raised concerns with Rent Smart Wales, about a situation that a member found themselves in when it came to the registration process.
The member had told the RLA that their agent had refused to ‘accept’ them during the Rent Smart Wales registration process-because the agent had failed to see the request to accept online. This then meant that they were unable to serve a Section 21. Rent Smart Wales have announced that they will review the RLA’s concerns around this.
Here, RLA Policy and public affairs officer Mathew Norman provides an update.
Recap, what was the issue? ‘The Bureaucratic click’
One of our members in Wales found themselves in a pickle when after following the process of registering their agent, found out that their agent hadn’t accepted them.
The agent failed to see the request and didn’t accept the member as their agent.
The member was down as being the licence holder but deemed to be managing the property themselves without a valid licence to do so.
This meant that they couldn’t serve a section 21.
Worse still, they couldn’t rely on the s8 because the agent had served the notice since the agent was not registered with the member ‘officially’ on RSW, the notice was not valid.
What we recommended to RSW:
- After 7 days of the landlord registering an agent, that a notification should be sent to both agent and landlord that the agent hasn’t/has accepted the invitation. This should be sent by email or text if a number is provided.
- Once the agent has accepted the landlord as the agent to their property, that the register is backdated to the initial date that the landlord registered the agent as the agent for their property.
- If more than 28 days have elapsed since the date of the invitation, a paper letter should be sent to both agent and landlord stating that the agent hasn’t accepted the invitation and that steps should be taken to ensure that the landlord has nominated the correct agent and that the landlord contacts the agent to accept the invitation. Yet again once completed, the register should show that the landlord has an agent for their property from the date of notifying RSW.
What have they now stated?
RSW’s business support team are discussing with their website developers and agents in a website discovery session. They are looking to review our concerns that we raised by addressing through email notifications to the landlords and additional email notifications to the agent with other options also explored.
They note that this will take some time to develop, so in the interim, they suggest that landlords and agents check their accounts to make sure that they are correct and that the agent has accepted the property invitation for each property.
Another way of checking is through the public register, note you don’t have to sign in.
This can be accessed from the following link.
By searching for the property address you can find out whether an agent is linked or not. If the agent is not linked when there should be one, then RSW advises that members should check their account or contact the Rent Smart Wales contact centre via:
- The contact us page on the Rent Smart Wales website at https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/contact/ or
- Telephone on 03000 133344
Have you been affected? We would like to hear from you!
The more cases that we report to RSW the quicker we can get a resolution.
If you have found that your agent is not registered or if you have experienced a similar situation then please get in contact!
We will collate and report these cases to Rent Smart Wales and place more pressure on RSW delivering a better service for you.