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First landlords fined under selective licensing scheme

Three landlords have been fined in Hyndburn, Lancashire – the first to be prosecuted under the local council's selective licensing scheme.

Suzanne Smith,  Alastair Buchanan MacDonald and Brian Capstick were all fined for failing to obtain landlord licenses for their rental properties. 

The landlords collectively incurred fines totalling almost £3000.

Hyndburn Borough Council introduced selective licensing in December 2012 in a bid to help tackle low housing demand and make sure landlords practice good property management.

The scheme requires all landlords in parts of Church, Kirk, Peel, Springhill, West Accrington and Woodnook to apply for a licence for each rental property they own.

Commenting on the recent prosecutions, Councillor Clare Cleary, Hyndburn's Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “These prosecutions send a clear message to all landlords with homes in the designated area, that we are taking the selective licensing scheme very seriously. It’s about improving the lives of tenants and improving the area, and, where landlords don’t apply for a licence and fail to engage with us, it can mean facing a court summons.” 

“The Private Rented Team is in the process of bringing further cases of this kind to Court. So if you are a landlord without a licence in this area, apply urgently, as these cases show, the consequences of renting a property without a licence can be extremely serious.”

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    Well done Hyndburn!
    All the bad landlords will be collectively quaking in their boots. Three years of a five year licensing scheme to prosecute three landlords, who when you remove the mandatory court costs and victim surcharges have a fine which will equate to less than the licensing fee being charged initially.
    Prosecuted for not applying rather than poor management and standards as I understand it too.
    One prosecution a year is excellent……. it’s only cost the good compliant landlords that have applied already circa £948,000 in licences fees. This before you factor the real cost of the ridiculously over bureaucratic conditions. A lot of which they had to remove because they were unlawful yet haven’t gone out of the way to tell anyone.
    I’m sure the politicians are delighted to see the lives of the tenants improved as would I be if I thought it to be true. However improving the area is a tad misleading when you look at the councils own review of the scheme it’s worth noting house prices in the designation have dropped 18.5% compared with 4.5% in the rest of the borough.
    It’s not all negative…..at least now we always get a good selection of biscuits at the council.

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