A LANDLORD has been handed a court bill of more than £15,000 for letting flats without a licence.
The Bristol-based portfolio holder was ordered to pay up by magistrates for failing to license a large block of 28 flats in Masbrough, one of Rotherham Borough Council’s selective licensing areas.
The company, MB Estate Limited, was gaining an unfair advantage over other landlords who are complying with the scheme by avoiding these checks and the £16,000 licensing fee for the large block at St John’s Court, Rotherham Magistrates’ Court heard.
It also meant that the landlord avoided licensing checks on the flats to make sure they were safe for people to live in.
Rented homes in Eastwood, Masbrough, Maltby South East and Dinnington are currently subject to licensing, ensuring minimum property standards.
MB Estate Ltd, represented by its director, Munjit Singh Dulay of Gloucester Road, Rudgeway, Bristol, admitted failing to license a property under the selective licensing requirements of the Housing Act 2004.
The court imposed a penalty of £13,300, costs of £882 and a victim surcharge of £1,000 totalling £15,182.
The company will also now need to apply for licences for the flats or face further legal action.
The company was reminded of the requirement to licence its property, on a number of occasions before being summonsed to court, magistrates were told, but failed to apply for a licence, leading to the Council taking legal proceedings.
Two previous hearings were adjourned due to the failure of the landlord to attend court.
Council officials said they hoped the sentence - which followed its second successful prosecution since the new rules came into force last year - would send a strong message to other landlords.
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