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Oldham Council has clamped down on the buy to let private rental market in the area, specifically those investors who failed to obtain licences for the buy to let properties they rented.
Following the introduction of a licensing scheme in 2015 it’s a criminal offence to operate a privately rented property without a licence in eight areas in Oldham. Failure to comply with any of the conditions stipulated in the license is also an offence.
Last month a large number of landlords were prosecuted at Tameside Magistrates Court for their failure to apply for a licence.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Hannah Roberts, said: ‘The majority of private landlords in the areas where licensing is in force are supportive of this scheme because they, like us, know that the rented sector in Oldham needs to improve. Unfortunately we’re still coming across people who think the law doesn’t apply to them. These latest prosecutions show that we will take action against landlords who flout the law.’
She continued: ‘It’s baffling as it’s a lot cheaper to do things properly than to get caught out and go to court. Some of the properties our officers have visited fail to meet the required homes standard, which can have a terrible impact on the health and welfare of tenants and the wider community. This scheme aims to make private landlords meet satisfactory standards of tenancy and property management. Not only that, but it’s about tenants acting responsibly in a way that does not blight their neighbourhood and shows respect for their neighbours.’
Those prosecuted include Fazal Ali, 28, of Richmond Street, Ashton, who pleaded guilty in court and was fined £500 with £675 costs and £50 victim surcharge for a property in Oldham. There was also Paul Jack Morris, 45, of Dorset Avenue, Shaw, who pleaded guilty by post and was fined £500 with £675 costs and £50 victim surcharge. Several other landlords were also guilty of offences.