GUIDE TO REGISTRATION AND LICENSING IN WALESV1-JW-20151221
CODE OF PRACTICE AND GUIDANCE ETC
Code of Practice
All licences will be issued subject to the condition that the licensee abide by the statutory Code of Practice under Section 22 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. Failure to do so is punishable by revocation of the licence.
The Code of Practice contains a list of legal obligations that landlords and agents must comply with, with the general aim of setting standards for letting and managing property. Please see the full Code of Practice for further details.
- All statements made about a property, whether spoken, in pictures or in writing, must be accurate.
- Landlords who utilise the services of letting/management agencies must ensure that the agent is licensed.
- Any advertisements or information relating to a property requiring an EPC must include the Energy Performance Indicator (Standard Assessment Procedure or SAP).
- Landlords are also required to submit details of new tenants to the water supplier within 21 days of the start of a new tenancy.
In addition to legal obligations, the Code also contains a guide for Best Practice, i.e, suggested measures that would help raise standards above the minimum level required by law. For instance, in Section 2 "Before letting a property", a suggestion for best practice advises "landlords and agents...to conduct all tenancy-related matters, and deal with prospective tenants, in a professional, fair, and reasonable manner".
The Best Practice measures in the Code are not mandatory and can be implemented at the discretion of the landlord. You can download the Code of Practice here.
Guides and Directions
The Welsh Members can issue guidance and directions to the licensing authority.
The licensing authority must publish information about the requirements relating to appliances.
Licensing is about letting and management standards. It is not about property condition or amenities as such. Improvements in property condition and requirements to carry out repairs or work will continue to be dealt with under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004) or HMO licensing where applicable.
However, Section 4 of the Code of Practice sets forth certain property conditions that a landlord must abide by as a condition of his/her licence:
- A property must be kept in a safe condition, and with no unacceptable risk to the health of the tenants. If demands for improvements under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System ("HHSRS") are made by a local authority, then these must be acted upon.
- The installations provided for the heating of the central heating or gas fires, and also for the water heating, together with the installations for the supply of gas, water, electricity and drainage, must be kept in proper working order.
- Electrical wiring must be in a safe, working condition. All electrical fixtures and fittings must be free from breakages, cracking or defects, and be properly and securely fitted. Electrical work must be carried out in accordance with part P of the Building Regulations.
- All electrical appliances provided must be in a safe condition.
- Furniture and furnishings provided as part of the tenancy agreement must comply with minimum fire resistance standards, unless exemptions apply.
- Gas appliances and flues must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a qualified gas engineer. Full records must be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and of any remedial action taken. A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out.
- Any maintenance or repair work on gas appliances provided must be carried out by somebody who is registered with the Gas Safe Register.
- Reasonable care must be taken to maintain and repair paths, driveways and car parking areas owned by the landlord so that they are safe to use. Gutters, downpipes, drains and gullies must be maintained and repaired.
- Any relevant health and safety information held about the property must be passed over to any contractor, including regarding asbestos.
- A carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted if a new solid fuel burning appliance is installed.
- All requirements regarding mandatory licensing schemes and additional schemes for Houses in Multiple Occupation in Wales must be adhered to, along with all Houses in Multiple Occupation Management Regulations.
Please see the full Code of Practice for further details.