Q: I recently inherited some money from my mother and am considering buying a property in the Wrexham area to rent out. Someone told me that I would need to be registered and licenced to be a landlord. Is this correct, even if I only have one rental property?
A: On 23rd November 2015 it became a legal requirement for all domestic landlords operating in Wales to become registered and they were given a twelve month period by which to comply. So by 23rd November 2016 everyone in Wales who deals with the letting and management of a tenancy on a daily basis must be trained to get a licence. This applies to individuals, groups and companies such as estate agents and property management agents. Where a property is held jointly the lead owner must register.
You can register online at https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales, which is considerably cheaper than paper registration, and the licence covers any number of properties registered to one named person for five years. During the licence period the landlord has a legal obligation to keep all registration information up to date. This includes any change in name or correspondence address; contact telephone number; email address or other contact information provided as part of the registration. Changes of interest, such as a landlord buying further properties, or selling a property that they have registered must be notified within 28 days. After 5 years the landlord must re-register.
Legislation governing landlords is becoming increasingly more complex, with a number of other obligations being imposed over the past twelve months. If you are a first time landlord in particular, it would be sensible to seek the advice of a solicitor about legislation, tenancy agreements etc.