Stoke-on-Trent City Council has successfuly prosecuted a landlord over a licencing dispute – the first time the City Council has prosecuted a landlord like this in 15 years.
A student landlord, 43-year-old Jaspal Dadhria, has been successfuly prosecuted for failing to obtain Houses In Multiple Occupation licences for three properties he rented to 17 people in Shelton.
He will pay the council £750 per property in fines and he must pay £1,650 to obtain the relevant licences before the properties can be re-let.
On top of this, he will be paying the Council’s court costs and for the period the properties were without the relevant license, tenants can claim back their rent runnig up a potential bill of thousands of pounds.
The announcement on Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s website comes days after the executive cabinet agreed to trial selective licensing in Tunstall.
In certain properties, landlords will be forced to obtain a £500 licence from the council and will be under extra pressure to maintain their properties to a legal and safe-to-live-in standard.
The prosecution sends out a clear message that this council will not tolerate landlords who deliberately flout housing laws. Multiple occupation licences are required to protect tenants, to ensure that large properties meet the necessary health and safety standards. In this case, Dadhria repeatedly failed to apply for a licence. He also, on at least two occasions, failed to attend meetings with the council about the case.
It is fortunate that in this instance, council inspections found the properties to be of a reasonable standard. But without the required licence to ensure minimum safeguards are met, it is not possible to know this.
We are committed to driving up the standard of houses in the city, and to tackling privately rented properties, where appropriate. We are determined to do all we can to help raise the living conditions and quality of life of city residents.