Newport landlord fined in first Rent Smart case
A property owner from Newport has become the first to be prosecuted for breaching new laws demanding private landlords in Wales must be licensed.
Robert Ivor Grovell pleaded guilty to breaking the new regulations, introduced in November 2016.
He also admitted operating a dangerous multiple occupancy house.
Grovell, from Llanfrechfa, Cwmbran was fined £4,400 by Newport magistrates and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.
Newport council prosecuted the landlord following an inspection of property in Orchard Street in the city.
It discovered that a fire escape route was blocked, and the house did not have a licence for multiple occupants.
Magistrates were told that Grovell was registered as a landlord but had not applied for a licence from Rent Smart Wales.
Since the inspection, he has completed the required Rent Smart Wales training and submitted his application for a licence.
Rent Smart Wales is the new all-Wales body that ensures landlords and agents comply with Welsh housing laws in the rented sector.
Newport council cabinet member Ray Truman said: "This was a serious breach where residents were put at risk because of the landlord's failure to comply with essential regulations aimed at keeping people safe in their home.
"Newport council will continue to be vigilant in ensuring landlords and agents stick to the rules covering their rental properties."