Quote Ref: WS1

Landlord Handed £12,000 Fine Over Lack Of Licence

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A landlord living in London has been fined as he was renting out a property in Thanet in Essex without a selective licence.

Thanet District Council designated certain parts of Clintonville and Margate Central as selective licensing areas in early 2011.

This meant that unless a property was subject to exemption, then all privately rented properties in these areas had to be licensed with the council.

Selective licensing was introduced by the Council to help tackle low housing demand and anti-social behaviour, in selected areas is part of their wider regeneration activities in Margate.

The court was told that despite requests for a licence application to be made in respect of the property in question, Flat 8, 28-30 Gordon Road in Clintonville.

The landlord, Sean Powell of Bayswater, London ignored the requests and no application was made to the council. The flat in question had been privately rented for some time.

Powell pleaded guilty to the offence and last week was fined £12,000, and informed he would also need to pay a contribution towards the council’s prosecution costs. An application to licence the property has now been made by Mr Powell.

A council spokesman said: “Many privately-rented properties in these areas are linked to poor property management and other problems driven by anti-social behaviour. This is why selective licensing was introduced to ensure that tenants are kept safe and that these neighbourhoods are not blighted by problem arising due to properties in poor conditions and issues associated with absentee landlords.

“The Housing Regeneration Team always set out to assist landlords through the licensing process, but unfortunately there are those landlords who deliberately flout the law.  This unfortunately is not likely to be the last case we hear of as there are other landlords who continue to ignore the Councils licensing requirements.

"We take this issue very seriously and as councillors we not only have a duty to support the good landlords in the area, but also to tackle the rogue landlords. We have a small legal team who work solely on housing enforcement and this should be a reminder to all landlords that selective licensing is mandatory, and failure to adhere to the licensing requirements will result in prosecution.”

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