Waiting for your licence advice

Are you a landlord waiting for your licence?

We are currently unable to specify the length of time it will take to process a licence due to the extremely high volume of applications.

We apologise for any inconvenience this is causing our customers as we work hard to resolve the matter.

The licence determination process is rigorous to ensure that the standards set out by the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 are upheld. Tenant safety could be at risk, if the process is compromised.

Once a licence application is submitted, it is first reviewed to ensure that it is correctly and fully completed. If additional information or clarification is required, a Rent Smart Wales officer will be in touch with the lead applicant by email or telephone.

If you have correctly submitted your licence you have complied with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, and may operate legally as a landlord in Wales.

Can a landlord continue to let and manage property whilst waiting for the licence application to be determined?

Yes, if the application submitted is valid. It was not the intention of the legislation to disadvantage landlords who had taken the necessary steps to comply with the new law. This means that as a landlord you are able to undertake all the letting and managing activities listed in the legislation once you have submitted your valid application. More information about letting and management activities available here.

Have I submitted properly?

Once you have paid for your licence application, you will receive a receipt for the fee payment, this is NOT confirmation of your licence application submission.

After you have paid the licence fee, you are required to complete a declaration on the application, it is only once this is completed and you have pressed the “Submit” key that the licence application is fully submitted.

To check the status of your application, view your dashboard in your account. This will display the status of your application as “Pending”, if properly submitted.

Will enforcement action be taken against me while I wait for my licence?

No enforcement action will be taken for failure to register and/or license IF you have correctly submitted your application to us.

When will my licence expire?

A licence expires 5 years from the approval date NOT the submission date.

Some of my details have changed since I submitted my licence application, what should I do?

Landlords / Agents have an on going responsibility to update information which is part of their Licence application. However, once a licence application is submitted an applicant cannot change any details in the account until the licence application has been determined.

If any of your details change whilst waiting for your licence, please contact us on 03000 133 344.

Am I able to submit a S.21 without my licence?

It was not the intention of the legislation to disadvantage landlords who had taken the necessary steps to comply with the new law.

It is the view of Rent Smart Wales that where a section 21 notice is served on or after the 23rd November 2016 the notice would be invalid unless a valid application for registration / licence was submitted prior to service of the notice. However, the legislation will be interpreted by the courts and therefore you should always seek your own legal advice.

1. If you served your section 21 notice after becoming registered / licensed, you have completed all the necessary steps, and will be asked to provide this evidence as part of your application to the court. This evidence will include the registration and licence reference numbers.

2. If you were not registered / licensed when you served your section 21 notice the following guidance may be relevant to you:

a. Where the 21 notice was served before the 23rd November 2016, the notice is not affected by Housing (Wales) Act 2014 i.e. if you were not registered or licensed at the time the notice was served the notice will still be valid.

b. Where the section 21 notice was served on or after the 23rd November 2016 and you were not registered / licensed the notice is invalid, unless you submitted a valid application for registration / licence prior to service of the notice. Section 5(a) and 8(a) of the Act explains these exceptions.

Note: Section 5(a) and 8(a) of the Act are not exceptions that apply to agents.

c. Where the section 21 notice was served on or after the 23rd November 2016 and you were not registered / licensed and had not submitted applications to become registered / licensed at the time the notice was served, the notice is invalid. There is nothing that you can subsequently do to change this. If you later comply with the requirements to become registered / licensed the notice remains invalid, you will need to reserve a valid notice.

Am I able to serve a S.8 notice whilst waiting for my licence to be determined?

The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 does not specifically restrict a landlord’s ability to issue a section 8 notice of eviction. However, courts will interpret the legislation over time, it is therefore important that you always seek your own legal advice.

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