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Landlord first to be prosecuted under new licensing scheme

A landlord who let out 12 properties in Middleborough has become the first in the local area to be prosecuted for not obtaining a license.

Middlesbrough Council recently introduced landlord licences to improve the rental standards in the North Ormesby area by forcing landlords to meet a ‘fit and proper person’ test and pay a £580 fee. But John David Bradley, 38, decided not to pay for the license and could now face an unlimited fine.

Bradley, of Foxgloves, Coulby Newham, appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court late last week, where he admitted the offences relating to the properties and will now be sentenced on March 23.

Middlesbrough Council, which hopes that the licences will improve social and economic conditions through better property management, may now expand the scheme to other areas of the town.

To comply with the licence, landlords must carry out pre-tenancy reference, annual gas safety checks, have a plan to address anti-social behaviour by their tenants, and of course pay the associated fees.

Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for communities and public health, said: “Everyone has a right to housing that meets certain standards, but tenants can find themselves at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords unless they are properly monitored and regulated.

“The purpose of such schemes is to improve standards of property management in the private rented sector, over a five-year period of designation which, when combined with other measures, should lead to improved social and economic conditions.”

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