3 May 2019

A buy to let investor has been left with a £2,000 bill and a criminal conviction after letting out his property without the appropriate licence.

Anthony Bellingham was prosecuted by a council in County Durham us for breaching the requirements of a licensing scheme in the Easington Colliery area.

Local magistrates heard the council received information last May suggesting that a property within the licensing area which had been rented out since November 2017, had changed ownership.

A letter was sent to the new owner, Bellingham who lives near Girona in Spain, advising him to apply for a licence within 28 days.

The court was told Bellingham phoned the council to say he was out of the country until the end of the August, resulting in him being e-mailed to allow him to apply while abroad.

The council claims that over the next two months, e-mails and letters were sent to the defendant, reminding him he needed a licence. Magistrates were told Bellingham did not seek one and so was prosecuted for not having a licence.

The defendant did not attend the hearing or write to the court, and magistrates fined him £1,500 and ordered him to pay £350 costs and a victim surcharge of £150.

A council spokesman says: “Selective licensing transforms areas by improving the standard of housing for entire neighbourhoods. It leads to more reliable, longer term tenancies; higher quality and safer housing standards; reduced levels of homelessness; and increased property and rent values which in turn helps create greater community cohesion. It offers landlords help to deal with problem residents and access to a scheme through which they can vet prospective tenants. However, it only works if landlords cooperate.”

Link to original article

Subscribe to receiveall the latest updates on regulation and legislation

Join our newsletter & mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our experts.

You have Successfully Subscribed!