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Landlord fined for breaching new licensing rules

A landlord from Sheffield has been fined more than £1,000 for failing to comply with new licensing regulations for properties in Rotherham.

Ayaz Hussain Bhatti, who owns properties in Belmont Street and Holmes Lane, Rotherham, was found guilty at Sheffield Magistrates' Court for failing to license a property under the Housing Act 2004 and non-compliance with a legal notice requiring him to provide the council with ownership details for one of the properties.

The 56-year-old, who lives in Sheffield, was fined a total of £1,106 and ordered to pay £274 costs and a £44 victim surcharge - bringing his total bill to £1,424.

Councillor Dominic Beck, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Our housing officers gave Mr Bhatti a number of opportunities to provide the necessary paperwork but he repeatedly failed to provide satisfactory information.” 

Last year, Rotherham Council designated certain parts of the borough as a ‘selective licensing’ area, requiring all privately rented properties within the boundary to be licensed with the council unless subject to exemption. The measure was introduced to tackle low housing demand and ensure rental properties are well managed, and those breaching the conditions can be fined up to £20,000.

Beck added: “We will continue to take legal action when landlords fail to licence within reasonable timescales to ensure that standards continue to be maintained in the private rented sector for the benefit of tenants.

“I would like to thank the majority of landlords who are working with the council to improve standards, and call on those who aren’t to come on board.”

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