Two landlords have been fined for failing to sign up to Oldham Council’s Selective Licensing scheme, designed to improve the management of properties and expose rogue landlords and irresponsible tenants.
It is a actually a criminal offence to operate a privately rented property without a licence in St Mary's, Hathershaw, Waterhead, Hollinwood, Primrose Bank and selected areas of Coldhurst, Alexandra and Oldham Edge.
The licence fee costs £490 per rented property, and covers a period of five years.
A landlord will also commit a criminal offence if they fail to comply with any of the conditions of a licence granted to them.
Following a recent hearing at Oldham Magistrates’ Court, Julia Lee, of Greenway Street, Darwen, was found guilty in her absence of failing to licence her property on Derwent Walk, Oldham, and fined 660 with £66 victim surcharge and £750 costs.
Asha Rehman, 38, of Landseer Street, Oldham, was also found guilty in her absence of failing to get a licence for a property on Hollins Road. She was also fined £660 with £66 victim surcharge and £750 costs.
Both had ignored letters from the council informing them that they needed to sign up to the scheme.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge commented: “Since this scheme started we’ve found the majority of private landlords in the areas where licensing is in force are supportive of what we are doing because they, like us, know that the rented sector in Oldham needs to improve.
“Unfortunately, there are still a small number of landlords who think the law doesn’t apply to them.
“These court cases show that we will take action against landlords who flout the law.
“Some of the properties our officers have visited fail to meet the required homes standard, which can have a terrible impact on the health and welfare of tenants.
“This scheme aims to make private landlords meet satisfactory standards of tenancy and property management.
“But it is also about tenants acting responsibly in a way that does not blight their neighbourhood.”