10 Dec 2020

A London council has confirmed its right to refuse licenses to criminal landlords – even reformed ones.

A story in the East London Guardian says Nasim Hussain and her daughter Farina took the Waltham Forest council to court after the family’s licences for 29 rented properties were revoked and seven applications for new licences refused.

The two women argued the council was wrong to deny them licences because convictions against Nasim Hussain and her husband back in 2016 were “spent” – that is, a rehabilitation period had expired without the individuals committing further crimes.

The newspaper says that in May 2016, Nasim Hussain lied in her licence application for four homes, claiming they did not need gas safety certificates because they had no gas appliances. “She had told the same lie about 21 homes the previous year and got certificates for the properties only when forced to by the council” adds the Guardian.

Her husband later pleaded guilty to forgery and was fined £1,000 while Mrs Hussain was fined £40,000 after pleading guilty to “knowingly or recklessly supplying false information”.

Following the recent Court of Appeal decision, a council spokeswoman says: “It is important that tenants who rent in the private sector can rely on their landlord to manage in a responsible way and to provide safe and secure accommodation.

“Where a landlord flouts their legal obligations and cut corners to expose tenants to unnecessary risks, it is only right that we can take this into account when deciding whether that landlord ought to be involved in the day to day letting and management of rented homes”

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