The first letting agent in Wales fined under the recently-introduced Rent Smart Wales scheme must now pay over £4,600 in fines after a hearing at Cardiff Magistrates Court.
As we have reported before several landlords have already been prosecuted and fined under the scheme, which requires all rental properties to be registered and landlords and agents to be licensed, but now the first agents are being taken to court
Agent Yvette Phillips, who trades as R Miles Scurlock of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, had failed to submit a completed licence application or register the properties she managed.
She was issued a Fixed Penalty Notice in June but failed to pay it and continued to ignore or comply with Rent Smart Wales.
At a hearing at Cardiff Magistrates Court she was fined £4,600 under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, ordered her to pay court costs of £671 and a £170 victim surcharge.
Outside the law
“It’s almost one year on since the November 23 deadline for all landlords with properties in Wales to become registered and yet there are landlords and agents still out there who believe they can operate outside of the law,” says Welsh Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne.
“We are taking action and we will find out about those individuals who are not complying. As well as court action and potentially a large fine, landlords and agents could face rent penalties and restriction on re-possession of their property as a result of non-compliance.
“There is no excuse for a [lettings] agent not to be registered and licensed. I urge any landlords who use an agent to check they are Rent Smart Wales compliant to ensure they are carrying out management duties legally.”