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BTL landlord ordered to pay £6k after failing to licence property in Bristol

A buy-to-let landlord has been fined more than £6,000 after failing to obtain a license for a shared house in Bristol.

John Elwes was found guilty of failing to licence his property in Herbert Crescent, Eastville, BS5, despite several warnings from Bristol City Council.

All landlords wanting to rent out properties in the Eastville and St George area need to apply for a property license, but the tribunal heard that Elwes repeatedly refused to pay the license fee required to rent out his property, leaving Bristol City Council with no alternative but to take enforcement action against the landlord.

Elwes appealed the council’s decision to serve the finance penalty but the appeal was thrown out by a tribunal on the grounds that there was no reasonable prospect of it succeeding.

Paul Smith, Bristol City Council’s cabinet member for housing, commented: “Mr Elwes has repeatedly neglected to engage with the council and ensure he had the correct licence for his property.

“Officers from the private housing team are actively looking for properties that are not licensed, and landlords that ignore their responsibilities will be investigated and may be brought before the courts and prosecuted or be subject to financial penalties.

“Mr Elwes didn’t engage with us and now has to pay almost double the penalty originally applied.

“We urge landlords to cooperate with our officers to avoid unnecessary court cases fines or penalties.

“The vast majority of landlords are keen to work with us and together we can continue to improve housing conditions within the city.”

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