Welsh landlords renewing their licence with Rent Smart Wales after 23rd November now need to organise regular mandatory property inspections.
The new condition – introduced by Rent Smart Wales for any new landlords signing up from 1st July and any renewals after November 23rd – means single tenancy properties must have an annual inspection, while HMOs need to get them every six months.
Also, all properties have to be inspected within the first two to six months of a new tenancy.
And those already with the scheme will be covered by the new rules after renewing their five-year licence, when they’ll need to have an inspection within six months.
This replaces the licensing body’s previous condition that required a landlord, whose main residence or business address is in Britain but at least 200 miles from the rental property, to either appoint a licensed local agent or employ a locally based member of staff to help in the management of the rental property.
However, the National Residential Landlords Association believes the new rule is unnecessary as it says the current conditions are sufficient.
It adds that anecdotal evidence suggests some tenants feel more inspections would unnecessarily disturb their lives.
A spokesman says: “If mandatory inspections must be introduced, we suggested they could be in the Welsh Government’s upcoming model standard occupancy contracts.
“Landlords must also provide the property to the tenant in a suitable state under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, and soon Fitness for Human Habitation, and it becomes the landlord’s responsibility to prove this – therefore, it’s superior to any other inspection arrangements.”
In addition to the mandatory inspections, licensees will also need to do training on the Renting Homes Act 2016 within three months of the new licence starting.