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Fines issued to landlords without licences

Published Monday 6 March 2017 at 13:23

Landlords in the Griffin area are being urged to make sure they’ve signed up to the Council’s selective licensing scheme after a landlord was ordered to pay around £3,000 for not having one.

Blackburn Magistrates fined Phillip Hughes of Watford Road, St Albans for failing to apply for a licence for 27 Francis Street, Blackburn, which is in the Griffin Selective Licensing area.

The 50 year old was handed a fine of £500 with £2,274 costs and a victim surcharge of £50.

The conviction also means the tenant can also claim  back the previous 12 months’ rent that he has paid to the landlord..

Under the scheme operated by the Council, intended to make sure privately rented properties are well managed, landlords risk heavy fines for failure to obtain a licence.

Licences are issued for up to five years to those who meet a number of criteria including carrying out annual gas safety checks, an electrical safety check, providing energy performance certificates, fitting and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and providing occupants with a written tenancy agreement.

Landlords who are prosecuted may also have to hand back rent from the last twelve months, over to tenants or to the Council if tenants are receiving housing benefit.

There are currently two selective licensing schemes in Blackburn with Darwen. They were introduced after extensive consultation with local residents.

Executive member for Neighbourhood and Prevention Services, Councillor Arshid Mahmood, said:

Our vision is to build safer and stronger communities and improve people’s health and wellbeing and we believe Selective Licensing can help us to achieve that.

I would urge landlords who are letting properties within the Selective Licensing Areas to ensure they have submitted full applications to avoid being prosecuted.

For more information contact the Housing Standards Team on 01254 585457 or visit http://www.blackburn.gov.uk/Pages/Selective-licensing.aspx

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