A landlord has been fined for not licensing 12 buy-to-let properties in the North Ormesby area of Middlesbrough.
John Bradley, 39, was the first landlord to be brought to court for not signing up to the scheme since Middlesbrough Council introduced compulsory £580 licences for those who rent out property in the local area in a bid to crackdown on rogue landlords.
But while Bradley admitted to the offences relating to the 12 unlicensed houses, the prosecution, brought by the council, apparently caused difficulties for district judge Kristina Harrison, as they were no guidelines to sentence those who break the rules.
The landlord, who claims that annually he clears only a few hundred pounds profit in rental income on each property, was eventually fined £500 for each property – £6,000 in total – and ordered him to pay £1,000 in costs.
He has also been ordered by the district judge to purchase a licence for each property within two months or he could face even bigger fines. In addition, he also owes late payment fees of £100 per property taking the total amount he owes the council to more than £8,000.
Cath Cunningham, for the council, told Teesside Magistrates’ Court: “Selective licencing was consulted upon and agreed by the council, and puts the onus on the landlord to be aware and deal with the problems in North Ormesby , including anti-social behaviour.
“The idea is to uplift the area.”