Landlord prosecuted over Maltby licence breach

A LANDLORD has been prosecuted for failing to licence two Maltby properties.

Simon Nicholls, of Bentinck Court, Worksop, was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £361.48 costs and a victim surcharge of £15 when he appeared before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on October 5.

The court was told that in December 2015, Rotherham Borough Council wrote to Nicholls, requesting information relating to the two properties he was renting out on Carlyle Road in Maltby

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Despite further contact in January and February of 2016, no application was received by the council. 

Nicholls, who pleaded guilty to the offence, told court he was apologetic and said that he would be applying for his licences. 

In May 2015, the council designated certain parts of Rotherham as a selective licensing area. 

Unless subject to exemption, all privately rented properties within the area must be licensed with the council. 

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The scheme requires landlords to comply with a range of conditions to ensure good property management.

Nicholls’ conditional discharge will be reviewed if he fails to licence his properties.

Cllr Dominic Beck, the council’s Cabinet member for housing, said: “Our housing officers tried to help this individual licence his property, but the poor response let him down. 

“The message is simple, we will not allow irresponsible landlords to persist with their actions indefinitely and will take legal action when landlords fail to licence within reasonable timescales.

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“This should be a warning to other landlords that if you don’t comply with selective licensing, a court summons will end up on your doormat.”

The council has brought three cases to court since last May and said it was in the process of pursuing further prosecutions.

Selective licensing is mandatory and unlicensed landlords and those in breach of conditions will be prosecuted when in the public interest, the authority said. 

The maximum fine that can be imposed by the courts is £20,000.

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