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November 6

2018
by Samantha Altman
Landlord to repay £4,000 after Rent Smart Wales action

A landlord must pay back nearly £4,000 collected in rent from his tenants after he was convicted of running a shared house without a licence.

The case is believed to be the first rent repayment order gained by Rent Smart Wales.

The Residential Property Tribunal (Wales) ordered he should return £3,983 that he had received in housing benefits for the tenants for the time they lived in his unlicensed property between February and December 2017.

The tribunal also ordered Jones to pay £400 costs.

All landlords renting out private homes in Wales must register with the scheme.

If they are convicted of a housing offence, Rent Smart Wales can apply to the tribunal for the return of any rents paid during the time the offence was committed.

Councillor Lynda Thorne, cabinet member for housing and communities at Cardiff Council – the council running Rent Smart Wales – said: “This is a first for Rent Smart Wales – the first rent repayment order for an unlicensed landlord and another avenue we can pursue for those who have been convicted of non-compliance with the scheme.

“It is not fair for landlords who evade compliance to benefit financially from operating illegally, while most landlords are complying.

“This first rent repayment order should serve as a stark warning to the minority of landlords who continue to be unlicensed. They face not only prosecution for non-compliance, which if successful will result in a fine and a criminal record, but if convicted, they could also be handed a rent repayment order to hit them in the pocket.”

Rent repayment orders were introduced by the Housing Act 2004, but little used until the rules were upgraded in April 2017 by the Housing and planning act 2016.

Read more about Rent Smart Wales legislation.

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