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BTL owner fined for failing to improve condition of two apartments

A Scarborough buy to let investor has been found guilty of two offences under the Housing Act 2004 for non-compliance with notices to make improvements to two flats.

Scarborough council issued official improvement notices to Ewan McFerran, which required him to demonstrate that electrical repairs and improvements to the flats he lets out had been completed to an appropriate standard, including electrical installation condition reports.

McFerran failed to comply with the improvement notices, which led to the council taking prosecution action against him. He pleaded guilty at court and was fined £3,500 per offence, which, with costs, totalled £9099.

The case was heard as the council introduces a new selective licensing scheme.

To comply with the scheme, the licence requires landlords to meet a range of licensing conditions, including a current gas safety certificate if there is gas in the property, working smoke alarms, other fire safety measures and safe electrical appliances. 

They must have suitable tenancy agreements and appropriate management arrangements in place, including those for dealing with anti-social behaviour and security. Proposed licence holders and managers will also be required to prove that they are ‘fit and proper’ persons.

"While Mr McFerran’s properties on Westbourne Grove aren’t currently in the designated area for the selective licensing scheme, should he ever find himself in the position of needing to apply for a licence in the future, the fact that we have had to take legal action against him is highly likely to impact on his ability to prove to us that he is a ‘fit and proper’ person" says a council spokesman. 

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