A buy-to-let landlord in Nottingham has been fined £24,000 and told to pay £1,100 costs as well as a victim surcharge of £170 after being convicted of 12 licencing offences.
Ex-Nottingham Forest striker Dexter Blackstock, 33, was convicted of nine offences of failing to license properties under the Selective Licensing scheme at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. These properties were in Addison Street, Haydn Road, Langtry Grove, Marmion Road, Magdala Road and Hucknall Road.
The landlord also failed to license two properties under the additional licensing scheme in Bingham Road and Addison Street, while he was also hit for one other offence under mandatory licensing for a flat in Addison Street.
Paul James, who managed the properties in Nottingham, also faces ten charges – seven for Selective Licensing breaches, two for Additional Licensing and one for Mandatory Licensing. His case has been adjourned until next month.
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the total rental income for the 12 properties was just over £10,500 a month. It would have cost £12,180 to licence them for a period of five years.
Enforcement officers visited a number of Blackstock’s properties and found disrepair and in some cases discovered smoke alarms that were not working.
Cllr Linda Woodings, portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage at Nottingham City Council, commented: “This is another good result for the council and I’d like to pay tribute to the hard work of the Safer Housing team.
“Properties have to be licensed for a good reason – to provide higher standards, regular maintenance and, most importantly, to make sure that tenants across the city are safe and living in acceptable conditions.
“Mr Blackstock has continually placed his profits over ensuring that these homes were appropriately licensed.
“The purpose of the licensing regime is to guarantee the house is suitable for the number of people occupying it, and that the licence holder is fit-and-proper person to hold a licence as well as additional controls over anti-social behaviour.
“Taking action like this is always a last resort when a landlord or agent refuses to engage with us, we want to work constructively with landlords to improve the standards of rented properties, but we make no apology for bringing people before the courts and we hope this sends out a strong message.”