A MILFORD Haven landlord who flouted the law must repay more than £22,000 in rent.

Yvette Phillips, of Robert Street, has been ordered to repay £22,357.71 in housing benefit paid to her while she was trading as estate agent R Miles Scurlock.

Rent Smart Wales - the body which processes landlord registrations and grants licences to landlords and agents - successfully applied to the Residential Property Tribunal (Wales) for the repayment of the money.

In November 2017, Phillips became the first commercial agent to be prosecuted for failing to sign up to a Welsh Government scheme that requires landlords to become registered or licensed.

Cardiff Magistrates fined her £4,600 for three offences with £671 costs and a £170 victim surcharge after she admitted three offences under the Housing Act.

Lynda Thorne, cabinet member for housing and communities at Cardiff Council, which administers the Rent Smart Wales scheme for local authorities across Wales, said: "Non-compliance with Rent Smart Wales can be a costly business for landlords who think they can operate outside of the law.

"As well as pursing enforcement measures like fixed penalty notices and through the courts, when appropriate, Rent Smart Wales will apply for rent repayment orders to ensure convicted landlords do not profit from operating illegally.

"All landlords who are still unregistered and unlicensed should ask themselves, can they afford not to comply and take the necessary steps to do so without delay."

Cllr Pat Davies, cabinet member for housing and regulatory services, said: “Pembrokeshire County Council works closely with Rent Smart Wales to provide evidence to support prosecution cases, and to ensure that all landlord and agents are compliant with the necessary legislation.

“The authority will not hesitate to assist prosecutions of unlicensed and unregistered landlords.”