A landlord in Peterborough has been fined £2,000 for renting out two properties without a licence which he was legally obliged to obtain under the city council’s selective licensing scheme.
Kevin Wagstaff, who lives in Eye, was found guilty in his absence after he failed to appear at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, September 13.
He received a fine of £1,000 on each charge, plus a total of £563 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.
The prosecution comes a month after four Peterborough landlords were found guilty for the same offence, making this the fifth successful prosecution to date.
From December 1, 2016 residential landlords have been required to obtain a licence in order to let properties to tenants within a designated area.
The selective licensing scheme aims to improve the quality of life for everyone in the area by ensuring a consistent high standard of management of private rented homes.
The council had visited the properties on Atkinson Street and Saltmarsh following intelligence that suggested the properties where let without a licence.
A SaferPeterborough Prevention and Enforcement Service officer formally requested that the owner apply for licences for each property within a given timescale.
Despite several letters Wagstaff failed to register his properties, an offence under the Housing Act 2004.
Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities, said: “This case once again demonstrates that it is not acceptable for a landlord to operate in the designated area without a selective licence.
“We would urge all landlords to ensure they are fully aware of all their responsibilities under the law, including our selective licensing scheme.”
Helen Blake, prevention and enforcement officer, who investigated the offence, said: “The selective licensing scheme has been running for some time now and we have been clear that landlords who have properties in the areas covered by the scheme must have a licence.
“Landlords, managing agents or tenants within the designated area should obtain advice to ascertain whether their property is affected by the scheme by contacting the selective licensing team at Peterborough City Council.”
Wagstaff must now obtain a licence for both properties. Each licence will now cost £900, instead of £50 or £600 had he applied when the scheme started.
However, if an application is not received the council can take over the control of both properties for up to five years.
The selective licensing scheme covers the following wards: Central, North, East, Park, Fletton, Bretton North, Stanground Central, Walton and Orton Longueville.