Four landlords in Lincolnshire have been ordered to pay a collective fine of £232,155.68 for failing to comply with licensing regulations.
The landlords are the first to fall foul of West Lindsey District Council’s selective licensing scheme, which came into effect in July 2016, with a view to helping to improve standards of property management and tackle anti-social behaviour in the private rented sector by forcing local landlords to meet higher standards.
The four landlords appeared at Lincoln Magistrate’s Court last week, where they were punished for not managing their properties in accordance with conditions that the council specifies.
Jagdish Singh, 59, of Southernhay Road, Leicester, was handed the biggest fine of £108,000, after pleading guilty to ‘failure to licence’ eight of his properties, along with three offences relating to not complying with improvement notices.
According to Lincolnshire Live, it is believed to be the largest fine issued to one landlord to date in the country for renting out properties without a selective licence.
The other three defendants who also live on Southernhay Road, Leicester, jointly own several of the unlicensed rental properties with Singh.
Gurjit Singh and Balbir Kaur had previously been found guilty for two ‘failure to licence’ offences each. They were both fined £15,000 for two offences each and ordered to each pay costs of £1,048.56, plus £170 surcharge.
Harpal Bindra Singh was fined £15,000 per offence. He was also found guilty for one failure to comply with an improvement notice and given the maximum £5,000 fine and ordered to pay costs of £1048.56, plus £170 surcharge.
Cllr Sheila Bibb, chairman of the prosperous communities committee at the council, said: “The courts have made it very clear in these prosecutions – that landlords will face tough fines and restrictions if they do not comply with the scheme.
“The private rented sector is the only option available for some of the most vulnerable people in our area and this action sends a clear message that the council wishes to work with good landlords to improve this sector and identify the poor or criminal landlords.”