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Letting agents

Letting agents act on behalf of landlords.

What do letting agents do?

There are various different types of letting agencies. Some just find tenants for properties (these are often known as accommodation agencies). Others manage properties on behalf of landlords and the tenants may never have any direct contact with the landlord.

Letting agencies often:

  • find tenants
  • collect rent
  • manage the property
  • arrange repairs
  • provide tenancy agreements and inventories.

Choosing a letting agency

Letting agents in Wales must be licensed under the Rent Smart Wales scheme. Don’t be afraid to ask the agent if they have a licence. If they do then they must keep to the requirements of a Code of Practice and can face penalties if they don’t comply. See our pages on Landlord registration and licensing for more information.

You should also check if the letting agent is a member of a professional body. It shows the agent has agreed to a voluntary code of conduct and professional standards.

The main professional bodies are:

Each of these organisations lists its member letting agencies on its website.

What should I ask the letting agency?

Before agreeing to take accommodation from a letting agency find out:

  • what the agency does on behalf of the landlord
  • if they have a licence under the Rent Smart Wales scheme
  • what sort of tenancy agreement they are offering
  • how long you can stay
  • what charges you will have to pay before you move in
  • how much the rent is and how often it’s paid
  • how the agency wants the rent paid.

Can letting agencies charge?

Many letting fees in Wales are banned. This means it is an offence for landlords and letting agents to charge them. Find out here which fees are banned and what you can do if you are charged a banned fee.

If your tenancy started before the 1 September 2019 the ban probably won’t apply but letting agents must still display any fees they charge clearly and include a description of each fee.

Don’t pay any fees until you’ve been offered a place.

‘No DSS’ policies

It is discrimination for a letting agent to refuse to rent to you because you are on benefits or have a ‘no DSS’ policy. If this happens to you, use our Challenging DSS Discrimination toolkit to find out what you can do.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

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This page was last updated on: November 8, 2021

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

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