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Question

Registration and Licensing - Rent Smart Wales (Wales) | Rent Setting (Wales)

Landlord living more than 200 miles from property

10 Jun 2020 | 5 comments

As I live more than 200 miles from our flat in Wales, I appointed a firm to act as my agent in March.  I paid them a retainer to last the length of my licence, and paid them separately to do viewings.  I do everything else myself with your help.  Now they are seeking to terminate our agreement because they do not fully manage the property.

1. Are they legally correct to do this?

2. Am I right in thinking that anyone who is a licensed landlord could act as my agent as long as s/he lives within the 200 miles? (Thinking of my brother.)

It’s absurd, as I have successfully managed a portfolio from a distance of 3000 miles for 8 years.  But I recognise the need to be the right side of the law.

 

 

Answer

5 Comments

  1. Imported

    14/12/2019 3:25 pm

    We’re not sure if this is a “legal” thing, you would need to check the terms of the agreement. If it says notice can be given then they’re just enforcing their contractual right to end the agreement.

    However, part of this is clearly because of the 200 mile rule and they’re probably just keeping their business clean by ensuring they manage all properties where the landlord is more than 200 miles away. This will no doubt keep their business model simple.

    Your brother would require an agent license to manage your property. The fee is the same as the landlord fee where they are managing a member of family property but he would need to do extra training to obtain an agent license.

    Please see the RSW FAQ’s for more information: https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/faqs/#A3

    guildy

  2. Imported

    14/12/2019 3:44 pm
    Thank you. I wasn’t thinking of the legality in terms of the agreement between the agent and me, thought I didn’t make that clear, apologies. (We did in fact have an agreement that they would act for me as and when required during the duration of my licence, on payment of a retainer plus additional fees as and when incurred.)

    What I was really wondering was: Does Rent Smart require that, to be my agent, the agent has to be fully managing the property? Because I had understood that it was OK for them to be my agent for ad hoc services, rather than a full management service.

  3. Imported

    15/12/2019 9:44 am

    We believe from the RSW website, because you live more than 200 miles away, you must employ a licensed agent to fully manage the property not just some of the management. We believe that only applies to landlord licenses since May 2018 (although renewals are due fairly soon so will then apply to all). You will need to check your licence conditions.

    guildy

  4. Imported

    15/12/2019 1:17 pm

    Thank you. OK, so the conditions of my licence include:

    a. If a licensee’s main residence/business address is outside England, Scotland or Wales, the licensee must either appoint a Rent Smart Wales licensed local* agent, or employ a locally* based member of staff to assist in the management of the rental property(s).

    b. If a licensee’s main residence/business address is located in England, Scotland or Wales but is 200** or more miles from the rental property, the licensee must either appoint a Rent Smart Wales licensed local* agent, or employ a locally* based member of staff to assist in the management of the rental property(s).

    Should either of these conditions apply, the licensee will have 8 weeks from the date their licence is granted, or from the date this condition applies, to put such person(s) in place.

    *locally based / local means somebody who lives in England, Scotland or Wales and is within 200 miles (i.e. less than) of the rental property.

    To me, the words “to assist in the management of the property” mean “to assist me in my managing the property”, not ” to manage the property fully for me”. There’s nothing else in my licence describing what “management” means.

  5. Imported

    15/12/2019 3:14 pm

    You may well be correct but your agent is only willing to do full management so you would need to find somebody else to “assist”.

    Management is defined in the regulations as:

    collecting rent;
    being the principal point of contact for the tenant in relation to matters arising under the tenancy;
    making arrangements with a person to carry out repairs or maintenance;
    making arrangements with a tenant or occupier of the dwelling to secure access to the dwelling for any purpose;
    checking the contents or condition of the dwelling, or arranging for them to be checked;
    serving notice to terminate a tenancy.

    Perhaps speak with RSW to see what they mean by “assist”. Do they mean “assist” with each category of management under the regulations or just some of them? I guess, the main purpose will be in relation to the point of contact for the tenant so somebody can quickly attend for some emergency but beyond that, we’re not sure what they mean by “assist”.

    guildy

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