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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

BTL landlord let off paying £16k licensing fees as not in the ‘public interest’

A buy-to-let landlord appears to have been let off paying fees of around £16,700 to license 37 rental properties in Stoke-on-Trent, but it is not clear why.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is currently operating a selective licensing scheme in part of Fenton, which requires all landlords to be licensed. But council chiefs have refused to explain why the landlord with dozens of properties in the local area, which the authority has refused to confirm the identity of, has been let off paying the licensing fees.

Landlords in selective licensing areas usually face prosecution and the prospect of a fine if they fail to obtain a license. But instead of take action against the unlicensed landlord, Stoke-on-Trent City Council says it was not in the ‘public interest’ to prosecute the individual, but will not explain why.

Randy Conteh, cabinet member for housing, communities and a safer city, told the press: “There are 37 properties owned by one individual where it was deemed not in the public interest to pursue prosecution.

“External legal advice was obtained and the external opinion was not to proceed further. This amounts to lost income of approximately £16,700.”

The council plans to roll-out selective licensing in a further 14 nearby areas. But landlords opposed to plans to expand the scheme are well within their rights to point to the fact that this case demonstrates severe faults in the existing system.

  • Bill Wood

    Perhaps it is not in the public interest to have a selective licensing scheme at all, unless the properties are HMOs.

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    Money making scam Tony soprano would be proud of

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    RIP off councils again trying to make a pound for rules they make that apply to others but not themselves.
    And how about council tax demand on an empty property you are refurbing because thrashed by previous tenant, 100% payment required on empty property yet put one person in and they get a 25% discount how mad and stupid and ripping off and stealing is that??

  • S l
    • S l
    • 08 March 2019 12:18 PM

    count your lucky stars its only 100 percent. banes are charging 150 percent and refused discount for one adult if its non english names

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    pls explain that in detail?

     
  • Paul Barrett

    Always have a single person staying at a property
    Just make any old name up.
    I use East European ones.
    Always get SPD!!!
    I always have a tenant paying SPD inbetween other tenancies.
    Sometimes these East Europeans surrender after only a month.
    Flighty lot these East Europeans!!
    Of course I am always helpful in allowing early surrender!!!

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    I have properties in Newcastle of which some are in a licensed area. When the council started their scheme they could not provide any evidence of increased powers/legislations that they didn't already have via parliament in which to deal with any and all situations. Yet they still went ahead and it cost me £1600. I have not had any, not one, communications from them except when they want the renewal fees.
    No prosecutions. No bans on bad landlords. No ASBOs. No evictions. No improvements to the are appear to have been done.
    It is all a scam to raise money which will backfire when landlords really get fed up and evict families and the councils or the government don't have properties for them.

  • Paul Barrett

    Eventually every council will have a licencing scheme.
    Why Govt DOESN'T just have done with it and introduce a National LL Licensing Scheme.
    It will be impossible for LL to avoid licensing schemes.
    At least then Govt would have one scheme.

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    Local authorities are allowed to name their own fee for such schemes. Should Government not link these charges to LHA rates. In Stoke LHA rates are very low yet the proposed fee is average. Given that the safety of tenants could be proven by the provision of current of gas and electricity safety certificates and energy efficiency by an epc why are inspections necessary and which only lead to rent increases.

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