This applies to properties in Wales only.

GUIDE TO REGISTRATION AND LICENSING IN WALESV1-JW-20151221

REGISTRATION

Who is required to register?

Landlords under domestic tenancies must register each residential property with the licensing authority. This applies where:

  • there is a domestic tenancy in place for a dwelling,

or

  • a dwelling is being marketed or offered for rental for what will be a domestic tenancy

Every dwelling owned by a landlord which is rented out or which is to be let must be registered. An application to register a dwelling which is marketed must first be made before the marketing process starts, i.e. before it is first advertised or offered for letting in any way.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The registration requirement is mandatory. Failure to comply can result in:

  • prosecution and conviction of a criminal offence
  • a section 21 notice cannot be served where the property is not registered

Are there any Exceptions?

The following exceptions apply so that there is no penalty for non-compliance where:

  • an application for the registration has been made but has not yet been processed.
  • for a period of 21 days after the landlord acquires the property. This is intended to give a breathing space to allow the new landlord to register the change of ownership.
  • if within 28 days of acquiring a dwelling the landlord takes steps to obtain possession then, for so long as he/she diligently pursues recovering possession. This would include serving a section 21 notice or a section 8 notice of intention to take court proceedings.

Other exceptions can be added to the list by the Welsh Ministers.

When is registration not required?

In effect, because the tenancy is not an assured tenancy (or regulated under the Rent Acts) no registration is required in the following cases:

  • where there is a licence to occupy in place; not a tenancy, e.g. lodgers
  • lettings to a limited company
  • where there is a resident landlord
  • where the landlord shares the use of any of the accommodation with the tenant
  • rent free lettings or the rent is less than £200 per annum

NB: There are no exceptions as such for family members or employees, if they reside in the property under an assured shorthold tenancy or a protected tenancy.

What is Registration?

The registration scheme is simply about identifying and recording the dwelling with the required details as being a property which is let or available for rent.

What information should be provided?

  • landlord's name
  • date of birth
  • correspondence details
  • address of the property

Other information which is required may be prescribed.

Landlord registration numbers

On registering the first dwelling each landlord is assigned a registration number.

What information will be on the register of landlords?

A register of landlords of registered dwellings will be compiled.

The register will contain the following information:

  • the name of the landlord
  • landlord's registered address if the Landlord is a Company
  • address of each rental property which is registered
  • name and licence number of any appointed agent
  • landlord's registration number
  • date of registration
  • details of any licence granted to the landlord
  • details of any refusal of a licence for a landlord
  • details of any appeal
  • details of any rent stopping order

What information can be requested by members of the public?

When requesting information by providing the licensing authority with the address of a rental property you can obtain the following information:

  • the name of the landlord
  • the name of any agent
  • whether the landlord/agent is licensed
  • whether a rent stopping order is in effect

If someone makes a request for information and provides the name of the landlord or the name of an agent then the licensing authority must disclose:

  • whether the landlord is registered
  • whether the agent is registered

If a registration number or a licence number is provided (for a landlord or agent) the licensing authority must provide:

  • the name of the landlord or agent
  • whether the landlord is registered
  • whether the landlord or agent is licensed

What are the fees?

A landlord registration costs £33.50 if completed on-line for each landlord type registering. The cost for registration does not increase if more than one rental property is part of the registration.

A paper application costs £80.50.

How long does registration last?

Registration will last for five years. The landlord must apply to re-register a property after each five year registration period. A further fee will be payable.

When should landlords update the register information?

The landlord must keep the information on the register up to date. This includes:

  • any change of name for the landlord
  • correspondence address
  • contact telephone number
  • e-mail address or other contact information provided as part of the registration
  • any changes of interest the landlord has with the rental property
  • a change in any agent who is letting or managing the property
  • sale/transfer of the landlord's interest in the property

Updating must be done within 28 days of the change. Failure to notify a change is an offence. It can also lead to the revocation of registration.

When can the licensing authority cancel the registration?

The licensing authority can revoke (cancel) registration where:

  • the landlord provides false or misleading information
  • the landlord fails to update registration information
  • the landlord fails to pay a renewal fee for registration

Once revoked the property is no longer registered so the penalties for non registration then apply.

NB: The provisions in the law allowing for the Local Authority to revoke registration are already in force.

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