New regulations which affect landlords in Wales may also have implications for tenant farmers who sub-let dwelling houses.
The Rent Smart Wales scheme was introduced by the Welsh Assembly with a view to improving the quality and standards of Welsh housing in the rental sector. The legislation comes into force in November 2016, by which time all residential landlords should have undergone suitable training in the maintenance and management of rented housing. They can then register their properties under the scheme and purchase a 5-year licence. Those not wishing to register can appoint a licensed letting agent to manage their properties for them.
Farm tenancies are currently regarded as exempt from the new Rent Smart scheme. However, the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 suggests that a tenant farmer who is sub-letting residential accommodation within that tenancy, would be deemed a Landlord, and would therefore require a licence.
The use and definition of agricultural buildings is a complex issue. Any tenant farmer who is sub-letting a dwelling, whether to farm workers, family members, or other third parties, should contact Rent Smart Wales to discuss the arrangements they have in force, and ascertain if they need to register under the scheme. Failure to comply where necessary may incur fines and rent-stopping orders, as the rental activity would be considered illegal.
For further information, see here: https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.