Landlords

How can I ensure that I keep up to date with changing regulations and legislation?

The best way of keeping up to date is to join a landlords association which will keep you informed of any changes to legislation and regulations that you need to know about. Please contact the National Landlords Association, the Guild of Residential Landlords or the Residential Landlord Association for further information.

The Council also enforces housing standards and management practices in rented accommodation and they should be contacted if landlords wish to find out about requirements in relation to room size, fire precautions, amenities etc. Visit Bridgend Council's Website for more information.

Councils pay Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance to people on low incomes to help them with their rent. Private landlords are expected to keep proper records of rent that is due and payments made by tenants. As a landlord, you must provide your tenant(s) with confirmation of rent so they can claim Benefit (if they need to).

How can I let tenants know that I am a good landlord?

The Rent Smart Wales website provides details of landlords and letting agents who are registered and licenced in accordance with the Housing Act Wales 2014.  Similarly, the ARLA website provides information about letting agents who meet specific professional management standards.

Licencing training courses are run across Wales and cover the main issues landlords should be aware of when managing tenancies. Tenants can find the members of the scheme on the Rent Smart Wales website and are encouraged to seek out these landlords first, therefore giving them a competitive edge. The website is worth visiting as it has lots of useful downloads and news for landlords.

The Guidance for Landlords and Property Related Professionals (PDF) has been produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Thinking about renting out your home? (PDF) Information has been prepared to help you understand the responsibilities of becoming a private landlord. It is not intended as a comprehensive summary of the relevant legislation and you may need to seek independent legal advice.

How much rent can I charge?

As a landlord the amount of rent you charge is up to you, but it should be reasonable, based on the size and condition of the property. Remember if the amount you charge it is not line with rents being charged for similar properties in the area you are unlikely to attract a tenant.

As a guide, you can look at the Local Housing Allowance rates for Bridgend to find out how much Housing Benefits could be paid to qualifying tenants.

What is Local Housing Allowance?

Local Housing Allowance arrangements set the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that can be awarded to a household based on the size of property (i.e. the number of bedrooms) they need. The rates are set locally and the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates for Bridgend can be found on Bridgend Council’s website. If the amount of rent you charge is higher than the local housing allowance entitlement of the tenant renting your property, they will be responsible for paying the difference.

Will Local Housing Allowance be paid direct to me?

Local Housing Allowance is generally paid direct to the tenant who is then responsible for paying the rent. However in certain circumstances, for instance if the tenancy has been set up with the Council as a homelessness prevention measure, the Council may be able to arrange payment directly to the landlord. Visit Bridgend Council’s Benefits Service web pages for more benefits information or contact them on 01656 643396.

Can I keep the bond myself until the tenant moves on?

Since 6th April 2007 it has been a legal requirement for all deposits (for rent up to £25,000 per annum) taken by landlords or letting agents for assured shorthold tenancies to be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. There are three schemes available, two of which are insurance-based and which allow the landlord to keep the deposit as long as they pay a premium to the scheme, and one custodial scheme which holds the bond on behalf of the landlord (free of charge) until the end of the tenancy.

Remember: You must give the tenant details about how their deposit has been protected within 14 days of receiving it. Failing to protect a bond/deposit can result in court action and a requirement to repay the bond and a fine of 3 times the amount of the bond. It may also mean that you may not be able to gain possession of the property at the end of the tenancy. For more information about tenancy deposit protection visit Gov.uk.

What if my tenant is struggling to manage?

Support can be provided to help people who are having difficulties with tenancy-related issues. Tenants in this situation should be advised to contact Bridgend Council's Housing Solutions Team where support and advice regarding a range of housing issues can be provided.

Landlord Forum

Rent Smart Wales