Kensington Fields

Unlicensed landlord fined £8,000

An unlicensed landlord has been fined £8,000 plus costs by a District Judge in Liverpool.

Liverpool’s Landlord Licensing Scheme came into force last year with the aim of driving up standards in the private rented sector, and action is now being taken against those who are still refusing to sign up.

Landlords have to meet a variety of conditions around fire, electric and gas safety rectifying disrepair issues, tackling pest infestations, keeping the exterior in a good state of repair and dealing with complaints about anti-social behaviour caused by tenants.

Shane Tennyson, of Primrose Street in Belfast was convicted at Liverpool Magistrates Court of renting out an unlicensed property in Maxton Road in Kensington.

He was also convicted of a second charge of not providing Liverpool City Council with information about the house by failing to comply with a legal notice served on him.

Councillor Frank Hont, Cabinet member for housing, said: “It must be stressed that a large proportion of landlords are working very positively with us and are abiding by the rules around licensing.

“However, there are still landlords who have refused to engage and have not signed up, and it is those that we are now targeting.

“The level of the fine shows that the courts take this issue extremely seriously and are willing to hit landlords hard in the pocket. Mr Tennyson is facing a bill of almost £9,000 instead of the £400 it would’ve cost him for a licence.

“Our message to those landlords that haven’t signed up is that you are committing a criminal offence and if you don’t engage you will get a big bill in court.”

Deputy District Judge Monroe found Tennyson guilty in his absence after he failed to attend this, and an earlier hearing, despite the Court having written to him about the matter.

He was fined £5,000 for operating an unlicensed property and £3,000 for failing to comply with the notice served on him.

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and the City Council’s legal costs of £820.23 within the next 14 days.

Almost 8,000 landlords responsible for more than 44,000 properties are already engaged with the Landlord Licensing scheme.

Current and prospective tenants can access a database at www.liverpool.gov.uk/landlordlicensing to see if their landlord has started the application process.

Landlord licensing has the backing of campaign groups including Shelter and Generation Rent.