The Welsh Government’s Rent Smart Wales has awarded a Mid Wales estate and lettings agent the highest grade for best practice in its lettings and landlord management services.
Morris, Marshall and Poole with Norman Lloyd was awarded Grade 4 Best Practice following an intense audit by the licensing organisation.
Under Rent Smart Wales, anyone owning and managing private rented housing in Wales must be registered and have taken relevant training to comply with the Welsh Government’s Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
Landlords are, however, able to pass responsibility for managing their properties to agents, such as Morris, Marshall and Poole, who are fully trained and registered as part of Rent Smart Wales.
More than 1,000 properties managed
MMP/NL manages more than 1,000 properties as well as a large portfolio of let only throughout Powys, Ceredigion, Gwynedd and Shropshire.
“This year we were subject to an audit by Rent Smart Wales. The audit itself was quite extensive due in part to the high number of properties that we currently manage in Wales,” said Andrew Turner, a partner at MMP/NL.
“The audit also involved not only checking compliance but also sampling our Agency procedures such as Tenancy Agreements, notices issued and tenant correspondence.
“The audit report awarded us with the highest Grade 4 Best Practice, reflecting the level of compliance with legal and best practice requirements.”
Working with landlords and property owners
MMP/NL works for a wide range of residential property owners and landlords. From homes to apartments, the company is now one of the largest letting agents in Mid Wales and Shropshire.
It has a dedicated lettings team based in Newtown, Powys, as well as at its offices in Welshpool, Oswestry, Bishop’s Castle, Machynlleth, Aberystwyth, Rhayader, Tywyn and Llanidloes.
Additionally, this June the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill came into force with additional regulations on private residential landlords.
“With a myriad of rules and regulations you could be forgiven for being unsure as to what you can and cannot do as a private landlord without being penalised or fined for doing it wrong,” said Andrew.
“Luckily, our dedicated lettings team are on hand to offer some practical advice to private residential landlords.”
In Wales the new Act means:
• Bans landlords from charging tenants for an accompanied viewing, receiving an inventory, signing a contract, exit fees or renewing a tenancy
• Only allows landlords and letting agents to charge fees relating to specific items such as Council Tax, holding deposits, utilities and television licence
• Limits the level of security deposits (only limits the deposit in England, Wales is uncapped)
• Creates a cap for holding deposits (holding fee, not deposit) of one week’s rent
Fixed penalty notices of up to £1,000 can be made against anyone requesting a banned payment.
A Landlord’s Rent Smart Wales licences could also not be renewed or granted.