The first fine has been issued to a landlord for not being registered or licenced under the Rent Smart Wales scheme.
Landlords who rent out properties in Wales have, since November 2016, been required to register with Rent Smart Wales and must now provide information about both themselves and their properties.
Also, landlords must also either have a licence to be a landlord in Wales, or use a letting or managing agent who is licenced.
Rent Smart Wales
The first landlord to be collared by the scheme is Robert Ivor Grovell who lives in the village of Llanfrechfa outside Newport.
After being successfully prosecuted Grovell must now pay £4,400 both for failing to comply with Rent Smart Wales but also for operating a “dangerous, unlicensed house in multiple occupation”, the organisation says. He must also pay costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Grovell was prosecuted under Section 7(5) of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 at Newport Magistrates court for his non-compliance.
The offence was one of a number brought against him by Newport City Council for housing-related offences at a property on Orchard Street in Newport to which he pleaded guilty.
In December last year Environmental Health officers visited the rental property and found serious problems with its design and layout, and an escape route that was blocked with furniture and other items.
Grovell, who also did not have a licence to operate an HMO, has avoided a ban and instead received only a fine because he has subsequently completed the necessary Rent Smart Wales training to become registered and licensed.
“This prosecution sends a strong message to other non-compliant landlords who continue to flout the law and those who haven’t complied should come forward now to avoid action against them,” says Bethan Jones, Operational Manager of Rent Smart Wales at Cardiff Council.