A letting agency has received a maximum £5,000 fine after apparently ignoring a request for information from a local council.
Hamlet Homes Properties Limited, of Westcliff-on-Sea in Essex, failed to return a Requisition for Information document to Southend on Sea council within 14 days.
The company were sent a reminder which it also apparently failed to complete. The form was sent to ask for basic information about a property the agency managed following a complaint from the tenant.
Hamlet Homes Properties Limited failed to attend court to provide a defence or enter a plea and the company was found guilty in its absence and fined the maximum possible for the offence which is £5,000, along with £465 in costs.
“This notice is a very standard form that can be easily completed by the recipient. It is sent whenever we receive a complaint or a service request and seeks to establish information about an address, its occupation and management, and their interests in the land to aid in [the council]’s investigations” says a council spokesman.
“It is served at an early stage to ensure that the council is in dialogue with those who are legally responsible for, or have an interest in, a property subject to any council intervention.
“This legislation is in place to help and protect tenants, landlords and managing agents alike and I am amazed that an established company like this would ignore such a request. The maximum fine that has been imposed sends out a strong message that an important legal request like this cannot just be ignored.”