Tough sanctions for landlords that avoid selective licensing are being imposed by Burnley Council.
A landlord has been ordered to repay more than £3,000 to the council which was received in housing benefit during the period the property should have been licensed.
The council applied to the Northern Residential Property Tribunal for a rent repayment order in respect of housing benefit paid to Pierce Mullally relating to a property he owned in Baker Street, in the Trinity selective licensing area.
Mr Mullally failed to apply for a licence and in November 2015 the council successfully prosecuted him for having no licence for the property between January 2014 and October 2015. The tribunal was told that during that period a total of more than £3,000 in housing benefits was paid to Mr Mullally’s agents.
The tribunal heard that Mr Mullally argued that the property had been licensed until around January 2014. At that time he had agreed to sell it but the sale fell through, leaving him in financial difficulties.
He said the property was maintained to the relevant standard and the tenant had not suffered loss of value for the rent. Mr Mullally subsequently sold the house in January 2016.
Coun. John Harbour, Executive member for housing and environment, said: “The council will work with the majority of landlords who want to maintain high standards and look after their tenants.
“However, we are also committed to finding landlords who are avoiding selective licensing, not only to protect the health, safety and welfare of the tenants, but also to show those good, responsible landlords that we are taking action.”
Other recent successful prosecutions against landlords inlude: Kevin Ewens (Pink Street, Burnley), £440 fine, £250 costs, £44 victim surcharge; Edward Critchley (Lark Street, Burnley), £250 fine, £200 costs; Wayne Lee Jackson (Bivel Street, Burnley), six month conditional discharge, £330 costs; Joanne Louise Barker (Heap Street, Burnley), £150 fine, £250 costs, £20 victim surcharge; James Anthony Duerden (Steer Street, Burnley), £200 fine, £250 costs, £20 victim surcharge; Asif Javed (Ragland Road), conditional discharge, £250 costs, £15 victim surcharge; Will Sheung Chor Iu (Grange Street, Burnley), £108 fine, £222 costs, £20 victim surcharge; Christopher Gorton (Lark Street, Burnley), £660 fine, £258.96 costs, £750 compensation for lost licence fees income; Jason Bradley (Swinden Street, Burnley), £440 fine, £231.72 costs, £750 compensation for lost licence fees income; Terry Gorton (Piccadilly Road, Burnley), £220 fine, £313.44 costs, £664 compensation and £22 victim surcharge.