Law guide: Property

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Overview of registration and licensing

Overview of registration and licensing

Contents

Before you set up a tenancy you might first have to register as a landlord and you might also need a licence to operate as a landlord. This will depend on where the property is located and the type of property. You may also need to register with the Information Commissioner's Office.

Scotland

Landlords of all private rented properties must be registered. You can register at Landlord Registration.

You must pay a fee for the local authority area in which you own the property, and a fee for each property. Once registered, you must renew the registration every 3 years.

Any convictions, such as for violence, dishonesty, drugs or breaches of housing legislation will be taken into account. If you aren't considered to be 'fit and proper', you can't hold a registration and let private property for rent.

If you rent out property without being registered, or if you give false information, you'll be committing a criminal offence and could be fined.

Northern Ireland

Landlords of all private rented properties must register with the Landlord Registration Scheme before letting the property. You don't need to register again if you've already paid to register an HMO.

You can register via nidirect. You must pay a fee to register. You'll get a registration number and must include it in any correspondence you have about your position as a landlord.

Once registered, you must renew the registration every 3 years.

If you don't register, or if you give false information, you'll be committing a criminal offence and can be fined.

Wales

Landlords of all private rented properties with assured, assured shorthold or regulated tenancies must be registered. Applications are made through Rent Smart Wales.

You must pay a fee to register. Once registered, you must renew the registration every 5 years.

You must also get a licence (if you're finding tenants or managing the rental property yourself); or your agent must be licensed (if you're using a lettings or property management agent).

You must be a 'fit and proper person' to get a licence, and you may need to undergo training. From 23 November 2016, if you're not registered or licensed you'll be committing a criminal offence.

England

In certain local authority areas, landlords must register under a selective licensing scheme. For example, all private landlords in the London boroughs of Newham, certain areas of Brent, and Waltham Forest, must register and pay a fee to the local authority. Landlords in these boroughs who don't register will be fined and ordered to repay to the tenant up to 12 months' rent.