A landlord is facing fines of £6,000 after failing to license 12 buy to let properties in North Ormesby, under the area’s new selective licensing scheme.
John Bradley, 39, was the first landlord to fall victim to the stipulations of the scheme, which was introduced by Middlesborough Council as a way to crackdown on rogue landlords. The scheme, which encompasses the area of North Ormesby, costs £580 per property and is intended as a way to improve standards in the buy to let sector.
However, despite Bradley admitting to 12 offences in relation to unlicensed housing, prosecuting him became problematic. This was due to a lack of guidelines regarding sentencing for those who break the rules of the licensing scheme, placing district judge Kristina Harrison in a problematic position.
Bradley attempted to claim that he only makes a few hundred pounds in profit from each property. However, despite this he was eventually fined £500 per unlicensed home. This amounted to £6,000 in total. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs for the offences.
The landlord was also ordered by the district judge to purchase a licence for each property within two months. Failure to do this could lead to more significant fines. He also owes late payment fees of £100 per property, which built the total amount he owes the council to over £8,000.
On behalf of the council, member Cath Cunningham, told Teesside Magistrates’ Court: ‘Selective licencing was consulted upon and agreed by the council, and puts the onus on the landlord to be aware and deal with the problems in North Ormesby , including anti-social behaviour. The idea is to uplift the area.’