An agent who pocketed over £15,000 in client money has been jailed for a year.
Osian Hughes, 26, took the money paid over as rent and deposits by 27 tenants.
Swansea Crown Court heard that the thefts came to light when it was discovered that ten months worth of rent from one tenant had not reached the owner of the property.
The branch manager launched an investigation and found paperwork was missing.
Craig Jones, for Hughes, said it was “an unfortunate, almost tragic case”, and that his client had genuinely intended to pay back the money but “that was never going to happen in reality as matters spiralled out of control”.
The court heard Hughes, who pleaded guilty, was of previously clean character.
A Proceeds of Crime Act investigation found that the defendant now had no recoverable assets, and he was ordered to pay a nominal £1.
Agents in the UK are currently not required to have client money protection insurance, although this is becoming mandatory in Wales under new legislation, attracting penalties from this November.