If your landlord is not registered, or has not yet obtained a licence or appointed an agent who is licensed, make sure you let them know that they should do so – it’s possible that they may not have realised yet.
Action by Rent Smart Wales or your council
Landlords or agents that are not registered or complied with the licensing rules can be prosecuted. They may also face one of the following penalties:
- a fixed penalty notice – giving them the option to pay a fixed penalty of £150 or £250 (depending on the offence) rather than have a conviction
- a rent stopping order (RSO) – stopping rent being paid by the tenant for a period
- a rent repayment order (RRO)– requiring them to repay any rent, housing benefit or universal credit received for a period.
It is up to your local council or Rent Smart Wales to decide what action to take if your landlord or agent does not register or get the right licence. Contact your council’s public protection department or Rent Smart Wales directly if you are concerned.
Action by the tenant
Where a landlord has been successfully prosecuted, or a RRO has already been made in respect of housing benefit or universal credit, tenants can apply to the Residential Property Tribunal themselves for an RRO so that they can have some of their rent repaid. If you want to do this contact the Residential Property Tribunal Wales. Any application by a tenant must be made within 12 months of any conviction or RRO and costs £155 (unless you are on certain income related benefits). The application form for a tenant to apply is here.
Restriction on eviction
If you have an assured shorthold tenancy and your landlord :
- is not registered, and
- has not either obtained the proper licence, or appointed an agent who is licensed
any section 21 notice they may have given you to end your tenancy cannot be relied on to evict you. If you receive a notice and are in this situation, see our page on eviction of assured shorthold tenants and get advice as soon as possible.