Posted on: Monday 15 November 2021
A landlady, acting as a property agent for a number of residential premises in Torfaen, has been fined after she admitted operating illegally.
Angelina White, owner of a company operating as Premier Properties, based in Crane Street, Pontypool, admitted misleading consumers by claiming to be a member of a government authorised, accredited and independent management scheme when she wasn't.
It is a legal requirement for property agents to be a member of an appropriate redress scheme to provide a mechanism for consumers to escalate complaints.
An investigation by Torfaen Council's Trading Standards team found White had been a member of the Property Redress Scheme until June 2017.
Despite failing to renew her membership, between June 2017 and May 2019 she misled consumers by continuing to display the Property Redress Scheme logo and claiming to be a member of the scheme on her company’s website.
White, 47, of Llangeview, Usk, admitted two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
She said she had not realised being a member of a redress scheme was a legal requirement in Wales.
Appearing at Newport Magistrates' Court on November 4, White was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £641.41 and a Victim Surcharge of £100.
White’s early guilty pleas were acknowledged by the court in her sentencing. She has since re-joined the Property Redress Scheme.
Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for Environment, said: "It is a legal requirement in Wales for all property agents to be a member of a government-authorised, accredited redress scheme.
"These schemes offer consumers, including tenants, a way of escalating concerns about agents where they are not satisfied how their complaints have been dealt with.
“This legislation provides for an important safeguard to ensure the interests of consumers and agents are protected."