The Chairman opened the forum on the 20th July and welcomed everyone and thanked them for their continued support. Greg introduced Councillor David Poole who is Caerphilly's new cabinet member for housing and thanked him for taking the time to join us.
Donna Elliott was the first to give her presentation on the new "Registration & Licensing" Scheme to give us an up date of "What's New and What Happens Next"
Donna confirmed that the brand name for the new scheme was announced on the 14th July by the Housing Minister - Lesley Griffiths. The "Brand Identity" for the new Registration and Licensing Scheme will be known as "RENT SMART WALES".
The logo above represents the new scheme.
Donna also informed the forum that Cardiff Council has been designated as the single licensing authority (SLA). Cardiff will therefore, administer the Rent Smart Wales scheme and are currently working hard to meet the implementation date of October 2015.
For Donna's full presentation log onto our landlord website www.caerphillyprivatelandlords.co.uk
The main points at this stage to note:
To comply all landlords will have to approach the licensing authority and register themselves and their rental properties and pay the fee.
During this first contact you will have to identify who undertakes the management activities at your rental properties.
Once registered if you undertake the management role yourselves you will have to apply for a license. Again pay a fee and book to attend training or complete the training on-line.It is the responsibility of the licensee to update any changes to their circumstances and continue to be fit and proper. Licenses can be revoked if breaches occur. For a list of penalties for non compliance see our landlord website.
Some good news for landlords/agents who accredited with Landlord Accreditation Wales.
If you previously accredited with LAW you will have little to do in order to gain a license. Your details will be moved onto the new database of "Rent Smart Wales". You will have to update your records and pay the fee and you may have to undergo a refresher course if you accredited with LAW in it's early stage on inception.
For the full presentation visit our landlord website.
Douglas Haig from the "Residential Landlords Association" was our last speaker of the evening.
Douglas introduced himself as the Vice Chairman and Director for the Wales branch of RLA. He also informed the forum that he was also the Chairman of the Landlord Forum in Cardiff.
Douglas commenced his presentation by outlining what RLA represents and what they can offer landlords. They currently have 20,000 members across England and Wales. They are based in Cardiff and have a dedicated landlord advice team on hand to deal with private housing related issues.
The Wales team work with Welsh Government and Local Authorities in various capacities, however, their main focus is research and policy. The battles they have won recently was highlighted and the battles they have ahead of them were outlined.
A very competitive joining fee to the RLA was on offer on the night and if you wish to join this organisation visit their website for more information.
The full presentation given by Douglas Haig is available on www.caerphillyprivatelandlords.co.uk
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Who is who?
From left to right is Kenyon Williams, CCBC's Private
Sector Housing Manager, Councillor David Poole Caerphilly's Cabinet Member for Housing, Donna Elliott Caerphilly's Private Rented Sector Access & Advice Coordinator, Lyndsay Rowlands and Greg Rowlands Chairman of Caerphilly Private Landlord Forum.
Unfortunately Sue Cousins Caerphilly's Principal Housing Officer was not able to attend the forum but is still an important member of the team.
Liz Davies from Libra Investment property group was the next speaker of the evening.
Liz has been an avid supporter of our Forum's over the years and has regularly spoken on a number of varied topic's relevant to the Private Rented Sector. Liz's presentation touched on: Right to Rent Legislation as part of the Immigration Act 2014 and Proceeds of Crime Act 2006.
"Right to Rent" what does it mean for Landlords?
The Home Office is introducing new legislation which will bring extra legal responsibilities for landlords. In brief the Government are making it a requirement for Landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants. Basically does an individual over the age of 18 have a right to live in the U.K.
When will Landlords have to comply?
Parts of the West Midlands started a pilot scheme in December of last year and what has been learned is currently being evaluated and a decision will be made on when and how it will be rolled out nationally. This is likely to be sometime this year.
How can you check immigration status?
Request and copy original documents such as passports.
For those migrants living in the UK legally they will have a biometric residence permit. If a prospective tenant has an outstanding immigration application landlords can use a free checking service with the Home Office.
All checks performed must be compliant with the Equalities Act 2010
What happens if a landlord or agent does not check or you suspect that a tenant no longer has a right to rent?
- You may be in breach of and fined as part of the "Proceeds of Crime Act 2006" if it is found that you received rent from someone who does not have a right to rent.
- A civil penalty could be imposed. There will be a sliding scale of penalties up to £3,000.
- Agents can take on the responsibility for the checks on behalf of a landlord providing the transfer of duty is recorded in writing.
- You should make a report to The Home Office in writing or email and must contain the required information.
The phrase "know your customer"
has never been so important!
For the full presentation please visit the website
Donna confirmed that Landlord Accreditation Wales were still running courses up until the end of August. Check out www.welshlandlords.org.uk for dates and availability.
Out of the 40 landlords present at the forum only 11 were not accredited. 9 new landlords joined us on the evening.
DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES
Our next landlord forum will be held on the 19th October.
An invitation and agenda will be sent out via email nearer the time. If we do not have your email address please forward it to Donna Elliott - firstname.lastname@example.org
A reminder that our website is currently being updated keep checking the website for current information regarding the private rented sector.
Contact Donna Elliott - 01495 235378 or email@example.com -
If you have a property to let and want to advertise on the CCBC housing website free of charge let Donna know.
If you have a tenant who is struggling to find their top-up part of their rent let Donna know. Donna may be able to assist with a DHP (Discretionary Housing Payment).
If you have a number of properties in our Borough? Why not let us put your details onto our website. Tell us where your properties are, what type of properties you have (1 bed, 2 bed etc.) and a contact number. This way you may get tenants lined up ready to rent when one of your properties become available. You could vet them in advance to assess their suitability? Could reduce void times?