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Buy to let firm ordered to pay over £15,000 after licensing failure

A company operating a number of buy to let properties has been ordered to pay more than £15,000 by magistrates for failing to licence a large block of 28 flats in Rotherham. 

The company, Bristol-based MB Estate Limited, was also deemed to be gaining an unfair advantage over other landlords who are complying with the scheme by avoiding licensing checks and the £16,000 licensing fee for the large block. In 2015, Rotherham council introduced selective licensing in four designated areas.

MB Estate Ltd, represented by its sole director, Munjit Singh Dulay, pleaded guilty to failing to license a property under the selective licensing requirements of the Housing Act 2004.

The court imposed a penalty of £13,300, costs of £882 and a victim surcharge of £1,000 totalling £15,182. The company will also now need to apply for licences for the flats or face further legal action.

The block concerned was a set of 28 self-contained flats. 

A council spokesman said after the case: "We recognise that there are many good landlords in the licensing areas, however there are also some irresponsible and unscrupulous landlords. Such landlords are associated with poor quality or hazardous rented property, transient populations, poorly behaved tenants and anti-social behaviour, all of which can have a detrimental effect on the community.

"As the area becomes less attractive, properties are left empty or increasingly are purchased by speculative investors. These landlords may have no interest in the area and often rent to tenants who have not been properly vetted, leading to further anti-social behaviour and decline.”

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