A landlord and their local managing agent have been fined for renting out flats without securing a selective licence from Thanet District Council.
On Tuesday, May 14, in cases heard by Canterbury Magistrates’ Court, both London based Somerset Estates REIT Plc and Broadstairs based Springer Homes Thanet Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to properly secure selective licences for two rented flats – Flat 2 and Flat 4, 84 Northdown Road, Cliftonville.
The Magistrates ordered both the landlord and the managing agent to pay a fine of £1,000, together with costs of £120 and a victim surcharge of £100.
Tom Tennant, CEO of Somerset Estates REIT Plc, said the breach was due to a payment error made by the agent on the application.
He said it was a ‘simple mistake,’ adding: “We are a family business and proud to put our tenants first. We have significantly improved all of the properties we have purchased in Thanet, 13 of which are in the Selective Licensing zone. We look after each and every one. We always put our tenant’s interests first and ensure repairs are carried out as soon as they are reported.”
Cllr Lesley Ann Game, Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “Our Selective Licensing scheme has proved a real success – helping to improve management standards in the private rented sector and safeguard the health, safety and welfare of tenants.
“We have robustly tackled rogue landlords who attempt to rent properties without a selective licence but managing agents must also be held to account. Whilst there are many good managing agents, there are some who are responsible for some of the worst housing conditions in the district. We have recently introduced civil penalties of up to £30,000, and agents should know that we will always take action where necessary.”
Thanet District Council introduced selective licensing in parts of the electoral wards of Margate Central and Cliftonville West in 2011. Now in its second phase, the mandatory scheme requires all landlords and managing agents renting out homes in the area to license their properties with the council.
For more information about the council’s selective licensing scheme and how to apply, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01843 577437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.