Former estate agent is ordered to pay back over £22,000 in rent

A landlord and former estate agent has been ordered to pay back over £22,000 in rent she received in the form of housing benefit.

Yvette Phillips, who traded as R Miles Scurlock, was the first agent to be prosecuted under the Rent Smart Wales scheme, for operating without a licence.

Last year, Cardiff magistrates fined her £4,600 for three offences, with £671 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

Rent Smart Wales – which requires every private landlord to be registered and every letting agent to be regulated – has now successfully applied to the Residential Property Tribunal (Wales) for a rent repayment order, covering the period Phillips was operating illegally.

Cardiff Council operates the scheme throughout Wales.

Letting agents in Scotland had until the last day of last month to apply to go on a mandatory register, and in England, the Government has announced its intention to introduce compulsory regulation of all letting and managing agents.

The England scheme is likely to copy those now in force in Scotland and Wales, insisting on mandatory registration, with minimum standards and a commitment to ongoing training.

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