In a weekly column for the Star, solicitor Juliet Phillips-James casts her expert eye over a range of legal matters and urges anyone with any questions or problems to come forward for help.
I have recently had a change in circumstances which has required me to move back home. I originally rented out my property in Swansea when I moved away but now I need to get the tenant to vacate in order that I can move back in. I have spoken with a friend who advises me I need to give them notice. Could you advise me as to what the requirements and procedures are and how much notice is required?
A landlord (such as you) can seek possession of your property by serving on the tenant a section 21 notice under the Housing Act 1988 (as amended). You can not issue possession proceedings until after two months have expired from the date the notice was served on the tenant.
In addition, in Wales, unless the property is managed by an agent who is registered with Rent Smart Wales, an individual landlord managing their own letting will need to obtain a licence from Rent Smart Wales (this process also involves sitting a test).
You will not be able to serve a valid section 21 notice unless you or your managing agent has a licence and your property is registered with Rent Smart Wales.
Rent Smart Wales are the licensing authority that came into force under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. Failure to comply with the legislation is an offence and may lead to criminal prosecution.
The notices for eviction can be quite tricky in terms of ensuring the correct dates are stipulated in the notice. I would therefore recommend that you seek some advice from a solicitor dealing in Housing Act matters prior to serving the notice to ensure full compliance.
Find more legal advice from Juliet Phillips-James at... www.walesonline.co.uk