rent smart wales Landlord Licensing Do you rent out a property in Wales? Landlords and agents are now required by law to be registered or licensed. If you own, rent out, manage and/or live in a rented property this law will impact on you.
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Landlord Licensing

Rent Smart Wales, the name for the registration and licensing requirements under Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 has now been launched.

From 23rd November 2015, Landlords and Agents will be able to register their properties and apply for licenses through the Rent Smart Wales website. There will then be a window of 12 months for all Landlords and Agents with property let in Wales to comply with the legislation before action will be taken.

The aim of Rent Smart Wales is to improve the image of the private rented sector, improve the practices of landlords and agents and help to tackle the bad practice in the industry.

It is intended that the legislation will result in:

▪ Improved standards of letting and management practice in the private rented sector
▪ More information on landlords available for tenant verification and for local authorities to assist with strategic intervention and dissemination of information
▪ Raised awareness by landlords and agents of their respective rights and responsibilities and in turn
▪ Raised awareness by tenants of their respective rights and responsibilities

So Who Does It Affect?

Every Landlord and Letting/Estate Agent who lets out a residential property in Wales is affected by this legislation. It will be a legal requirement for all Landlords to be registered and those who manage their own properties and Agents who manage on behalf of Landlords need to be licensed. There will be a lead in time of 12 months before any action will be taken against Landlords and Agents who do not comply.

Am I A Landlord?

If you own a property that is not your main residence, that you receive an income on (however minimal) then you are considered a Landlord. Even if you do not have a 'contract' in place, the Housing & Tenants Act still applies and its statutory requirements. If you own a property with someone else, both of you will need to register.

Do I Need A Licence?

Landlords who manage their own properties, (even if they let to a family member or friend) or have any type of interest in managing the property (such as arranging repairs) will need a licence.

What If I Have A Managed Service?

You will still need to register your details and your property with Rent Smart Wales but you will not need to obtain a licence. Your Letting Agent will require a licence and every member of their staff will have been required to undertake training in order for the company to have obtained the licence.

How Do I Get A Licence?

The 'Rent Smart Wales' website is the system in which Landlords and Agents will be able to upload their information to be registered and licensed.

The new website is informative and easy to use and from the 23rd November it will be ready for Landlords to register their properties and apply for a licence. In order to get a licence you will need to ensure you:

▪ Improved standards of letting and management practice in the private rented sector
▪ Undertake a day’s training course
▪ Register each property you rent in Wales
▪ Register your own details
▪ Pay a registration fee of £33.50 and if applicable a licence fee of £144.00

Once licences have been obtained they should be valid for 5 years.

To register yourself as a landlord, please visit the Rent Smart Wales website here

Services Designed Around You

Premier Fully Managed Service

Our Premier Fully Managed Service, listed below, has been designed to let you sit back and relax with the confidence and trust that every aspect of your property and tenancy is being looked after by professionals.

This service is ideal for the majority of Landlords who lead busy and hectic lifestyles who want peace of mind that every day running of the tenancy is being looked after, or the less experienced Landlords who want to ensure they are protected from the common pitfalls of managing a property themselves.

Specialist Let Only Service

Our Specialist Letting Only service has been designed for the more experienced Landlord who has a very good understanding of current legislation and who is available 24/7 to deal with every eventuality during the tenancy.

We will set you up with all you need to have a successful tenancy and includes points 1-17 below. We will also transfer the tenants deposit into your own Landlord ID with the Deposit Protection Service once it has cleared into the scheme.

  1. Consultation of your property, presentation, market conditions and current legislation
  2. Create an online marketing brochure with professional photographs
  3. Online advertising with Rightmove & Zoopla
  4. Premium listings on Rightmove
  5. Additional advertising: A3 window display, social media and email marketing
  6. Qualify enquiries against landlord requirements prior to viewing
  7. Arrange and accompany viewings
  8. Weekly feedback and statistics about your property’s online performance
  9. Negotiation of the terms of the tenancy
  10. Detailed referencing of the applicants & guarantors, with credit & fraud checks
  11. Ensuring the property is legally compliant for let with the relevant certificates
  12. Arranging an Independent Inventory to be compiled
  13. Preparation and execution of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement
  14. Preparation of deposit prescribed information
  15. Compilation of a standing order mandate
  16. Deposit submission into the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS)
  17. Notification of tenancy start to the utility companies & council tax
  1. Free Rent Guarantee & Legal Expenses cover
  2. Monthly rent collection & statement of account
  3. End of year statement of account (on request)
  4. Primary contact for tenants to report maintenance issues
  5. Conduct quarterly property visits & provide report to landlord
  6. Obtaining quotes & coordinating maintenance by qualified & insured contractors
  7. Administration of invoices relating to the property from rent received
  8. Serving of Section 21 & Section 13 legal notices
  9. Preparation & execution of renewal of tenancy
  10. Provide the tenant with a comprehensive end of tenancy letter
  11. End of tenancy management, negotiating deductions from deposit if required
  12. Notification of tenancy end to utilities & council tax
  13. Preparation of evidence for dispute resolution or court hearings
  14. Re-advertisement property
For a FREE Property Appraisal and Valuation please call us on 01792 430100 or you can complete our online Market Appraisal Form

Landlord Fees

VAT at the current rate of 20% has been INCLUDED in our fees

Premier Full Management Service

Tenancy Set-up Fee: £180.00 or 30% of the 1st months rent, whichever is greater
Premier Full Management Monthly Fee: 15% of rent due
Renewal Of Tenancy: £60.00
Express Rent Guarantee: Free for the first 6 months
Renewal Of Express Rent Guarantee: £55.00 per tenant, per 6 months

Specialist Letting Only Service

6 Month Let: 60% of 1st months rent, min fee £360.00
Deposit Management (optional): £120.00
Rent Protection & Legal Cover (optional): £95.00 (6 months cover)
Renewal Of Rent Protection (optional): £130.00
Renewal Of Contract: (optional): £120.00

Avoidable Costs

Obtaining Proof Of Ownership: £30.00
Re-issuing Or Amending Contracts: £30.00
Minimum Fee (in case of early termination): £420.00
Duplication & Testing Of Keys: £12.00 plus the cost of key cutting
Administration Of NRL Tax Returns: £180.00 per year

Contractor Costs (No VAT Applicable)

EPC report: £75.00 (valid for 10 years)
Gas Safety Certificate: £52.50 (valid for 1 year)
Gas Safety & Service: £85.00 (mandatory with all back boilers)
Electrical Condition Report: £95.00 (valid for 2 years)
Legionella Risk Assessment Report: £75.00 (valid for 2 years) £50.00 thereafter
Independent Inventory: £80.00 plus £10.00 per bedroom, plus £15.00 if furnished
Independent Check-out: £75.00

Expert Advice

Finances

It is really important to know your finances, as not having enough cash flow to deal with essential maintenance can be just as stressful as the tenant not paying rent. We advise to keep at least 3 months mortgage payments held in a separate account to cover for void periods (when the property is unoccupied) and keep between £20-£50 aside each month from your rental income to cover for unexpected maintenance issues. All of our fees and expected contractor costs are in our Agency Agreement which will be given to you at the market appraisal meeting. We want to be as clear as possible for you to know what your overall cost will be in order for you to plan financially for the next 12 months.

Mortgage

Have you got the relevant permissions to let your property? Renting a property without permission from your mortgage company could be a breach of your terms and conditions which could cost you more in the long term. You may need to switch to a 'buy-to-let' mortgage but it is better to ask first, then find out what their penalties are. If you need confirmation of your achievable rental income or any other information required by your mortgage company we are more than happy help. Book a FREE Market Appraisal

Insurance

If you don't inform your insurance company about letting your property, you may not be covered in the event of an accident, such as fire or flood at the property. If you own a leasehold property you may also need to have permission from the Freeholder/Superior Landlord or the management company. Your leasehold agreement should tell you who to contact and if there are restrictive clauses for your tenants then we will require a copy of the agreement to attach to the Tenancy Agreement.

It is important to have specialised landlord insurance, contact homelet.co.uk/landlords/ today for a competitive quote!

Safety Requirements

Make sure your property is safe. You will have a duty of care to your tenants, so treat them as your customers; you wouldn't expect to be electrocuted in a shop! Instruct qualified, recommended contractors to undertake gas safety certificates, electrical certificates and if your property is furnished, ensure your appliances are PAT tested and check that your soft furnishings meet with the fire resistant standards. Please give us a call if you are unsure on how to go about getting your property safe and ready for letting or alternatively tick the relevant boxes in our Agency Agreement for us to get everything organised for you to ensure you are compliant with the law.

Proof Of Ownership & Photographic ID

As much as we reference our tenants, we also need to know that you are the legal owner of the property in order to draft the tenancy agreement. We will need valid photographic ID and proof of ownership, ideally the title deeds from the land registry www.landregistry.gov.uk

Overseas Landlords

Avoid paying 20% of your gross rental income - Going overseas for more than 6 consecutive months? You will need a special Landlords NRL1 number from HM Revenue & customs to avoid paying this tax. Speak to us today for more information about this.

Mind Set

Detach yourself emotionally. Easier said than done, we know! But it is really important to treat renting out your property as a business or financial investment for your future, because it will be someone else's home.

Presenting Your Property For Let

Externally

Present the property with kerb appeal. First impressions count, a lot. Make sure driveways and front gardens are weed and rubbish free, bushes cut back and lawns neat. Paths and patios should be secure, not cracked and wobbly. Gutters, fascias and windows should be cleaned and front door locks should be in good working order.

Internally

Present the property with modern interiors, decoration and furnishings. We want to source the best professional tenants for you. The demand for quality housing can be directly associated with the current property market and tenants who we want to rent your property to, expect the very best their money can get to ultimately feel at home.

Remove all unnecessary items, such as ornaments, personal possessions and clutter from the property. Viewers need to see how their personal possessions would fit into your property. Remove any items of furniture or appliances that you will not be including in the let. Viewers will expect to get what they see and it will only cause confusion at the viewing if we are constantly talking about what is not staying rather than focusing the tenants on the benefits of your property.

Decor

Neutralise the decor: a lick of cream paint, new carpets and plain modern curtains opens the market to a much wider audience who can furnish with their own tastes and designs.

Dress the property sparsely with a dash of colour in removable items such as scatter cushions, mirrors and the odd pot plant which bring life into a room - setting the scene and creating a desired environment is important to welcome a prospective tenant into your property.

Cleanliness

Ensure the property is clean. Employ a professional company to get into those easy to forget areas. If you are not replacing carpets, we would recommend a reputable carpet cleaning company to professionally clean all your carpets. This will prolong the life of the carpets and it is easier to request the tenants do the same at the end of the tenancy if you have done it at the start.

Maintenance

Address all maintenance issues before marketing. Any obvious maintenance issues will put tenants off from committing to the property, therefore taking longer to secure a tenant. As soon as a tenancy has started, the tenants will soon find any problem. Ensure doors close properly, windows open and close with ease and have a key for each window.

We would recommend fully redecorating every 5-7 years and re-carpeting every 7-10 years. The life of a kitchen and bathroom is on average 10-15 years in a rented property.

All of the above helps secure a tenancy quickly and keep your tenants for longer. Starting your tenancy off on a clean slate sets a precedent as to how you wish your tenants to treat the property, is easier to manage at end of tenancy and prolongs the life of the property before it needs to be redecorated and re-carpeted again.

Preparation is key to a successful let, check out out 10 Top Tips For Renting Out Your Property
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