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'Charter' leads to £23,000 fine for letting sub-standard houses

A landlord man has been fined more than £20,000 after admitting renting out substandard houses to 30 people without obtaining a council licence.

John Mayer, from Plymouth, pleaded guilty to four cases of failing to apply for a licence to operate a house in multiple occupation. 

He also failed to comply with improvement notices under the Housing Act 2004, meaning around 12 tenants did not have adequate heating in their accommodation.

Mayer was fined £23,000 in total and ordered to pay court costs of £1,554.38, at a rate of £2,000 per calendar month. 

The court action was part of a campaign by Plymouth council which earlier this year introduced what it calls a Charter for Private Rented Housing - a 12 point plan to achieve, the local authority says, “better quality rented homes.” 

Commitments in the charter include training for landlords, raising the profile of the best landlords and letting agents who improve Plymouth’s reputation and that of the private rented sector, and taking enforcement to protect tenants against rogue landlords.

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