Ex-Rotherham United striker Dexter Blackstock fined £24,000 over housing licensing breaches

Ex-Rotherham United striker Dexter Blackstock fined £24,000 over housing licensing breaches

By Michael Upton | 21/10/2019

Ex-Rotherham United striker Dexter Blackstock fined £24,000 over housing licensing breaches

FORMER Rotherham United flop Dexter Blackstock has been accused of putting profit over following housing licensing rules after being fined £24,000 by magistrates.

The ex-striker, who was on £10,000 a week during an ill-fated season-long spell with the Millers, admitted 12 offences.

Some of the properties had been let without working smoke alarms, despite them bringing in more than £10,000 a month in rent, magistrates were told.

The 33-year-old (pictured above right) appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Friday to face charges brought by Nottingham City Council relating to 12 unlicensed properties he owned and was required to license under either Part 2 or 3 of the Housing Act.

Blackstock, who made just five appearances for the Millers after signing as a free agent in 2016 and was released nine months later, was convicted of nine offences of failing to license properties under the Selective Licensing scheme, two offences relating to the council’s under the Additional Licensing scheme and one under Mandatory Licensing rules.

He was fined £24,000 and ordered to pay £1,100 costs and a victim surcharge of £170.

The prosecution was brought by Nottingham City Council’s Safer Housing team. 

The court heard that the total rental income for the 12 properties was more than £10,500 a month. 

It would have cost £12,180 to licence them for a period of five years.

As part of investigations into the case, enforcement officers visited a number of the properties, where they found disrepair and in some cases found smoke alarms that weren’t working.

Emergency Remedial works were carried and enforcement action was taken under Part One the Housing Act 2004. 

Another man — Paul James (54) of Nottingham, who managed the properties — faces ten charges but his case has been adjourned until November.

Cllr Linda Woodings, portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage at Nottingham City Council, said: “This is another good result for the council and I’d like to pay tribute to the hard work of the Safer Housing team.

“Properties have to be licensed for a good reason – to provide higher standards, regular maintenance and, most importantly, to make sure that tenants across the city are safe and living in acceptable conditions.

“Mr Blackstock has continually placed his profits over ensuring that these homes were appropriately licensed.  

“The purpose of the licensing regime is to guarantee the house is suitable for the number of people occupying it, and that the licence holder is fit-and-proper person to hold a licence as well as additional controls over anti-social behaviour.

“Taking action like this is always a last resort when a landlord or agent refuses to engage with us, we want to work constructively with landlords to improve the standards of rented properties, but we make no apology for bringing people before the courts and we hope this sends out a strong message."

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