A landlord is now facing a bill of more than £12,000, becoming the second in a fortnight to be prosecuted for failing to properly licence a property in Cross Green.
Steven Mark Ridgeon and his company, Ridge Properties Yorkshire Limited, ignored warnings to obtain ‘selective licenses’ for 2 Frederick Avenue, 36 Glensdale Grove, 1 Charles Avenue and 17 East Park Street in Leeds.
At Leeds Magistrates Court on Thursday, the company was fined £6,000 for failing to obtain a Licence for three properties and a further £1,500 fine was handed to Mr Ridgeon, the owner of the fourth property and director of the company. Costs of £3,529.90 were awarded, with a further £1,046.50 awarded against Mr Ridgeon.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for housing, said:
- “Most landlords in the city take their responsibilities seriously, but there are a few who show little or no interest in managing their properties responsibly.
“A small minority of landlords let their properties without really checking up on their new tenants.
“Selective licensing helps the council deal with bad landlords and ignoring warnings that properties should be licensed is simply unacceptable.”
In a bid to crack down on anti-social tenants and poor housing, part of Cross Green and East End Park in Leeds was designated as an area of Selective Licensing last October. It means all owners of privately rented properties in the area need a special licence to operate.
Ridge Properties Yorkshire Limited ignored numerous letters and opportunities to obtain a Selective Licence, even writing on one occasion to the council to claim that it owned only four properties in the designated area, when in fact they owned a total of eight.
The firm had licensed the four it admitted to, but despite being made aware of its legal obligations chose not to license the further four properties.
In a selective licensing area the landlord must also meet a ‘fit and proper person’ test to obtain a licence. Their rented properties must meet the licence conditions, ensuring they are safe and that the landlord can, and will, deal with anti-social tenants. Failure to have applied for or obtained a licence could mean a fine, on conviction, of up to £20,000.
The aim is to help to address issues of low demand affecting the area and reduce the anti-social behaviour of tenants in privately rented properties. Landlords will not be made responsible for the actions of their tenants, but they will be expected to take action if they know that their tenants are causing a problem.
This is excellent news for the people of the area, at last people are begining to realise that the quality of landlords and the behaviour of their tenants has much to do with the quality of life of themsleves and their neighbours. Keep up the good work.
Just one thought, should someone who has behaved as this landlord has still retain licences for the four houses he admitted to after all it is hardly the behaviour of a 'fit and proper person' is it?
NB: From 3 November 2010 the meetings between tenants/landlords and the Selective Licensing team at the Richmond Hill Community Centre, Long Close Lane will be between 5-6pm ON THE FIRST WEDNESDAY OF EVERY MONTH ONLY however the team can be contacted by telephone on 0113 395 0044 and on email bySelective licensing or you can post comments on here and we will see they are passed on