A Shropshire man has become the first in England to be banned from being a landlord.
In a case brought by Telford & Wrekin council, David Beattie has also been ordered to pay back housing benefit paid to him by the authority for two of his former tenants.
The council applied for a banning order and rent repayment order against Beattie, who a tribunal was told has previous convictions.
At the tribunal hearing in August, The Property Chamber in Birmingham heard that Beattie was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence for a HMO.
The tribunal also found that Beattie had issued a licence instead of an assured shorthold tenancy in a deliberate attempt to mislead tenants as to their legal rights and security of tenure.
The licences stated to tenants that they could be evicted in 48 hours or fewer.
The tribunal heard that Beattie, knowing he would be refused a HMO licence if he were to apply for it, continued to run a seven bedroom house and advertise rooms to let in it.
Inspections carried out by the council last year found evidence of five people living there, while Beattie allegedly said he was not prepared to sell nor employ an agent to manage any of his properties.
The order served on him means that for the next five years Beattie cannot let out a house, be involved in letting or property management.
His tenants at his seven properties will, however, be able to stay until the end of their tenancies but they cannot be replaced after they leave.
Beattie has also been ordered to pay back to Telford & Wrekin Council £1,924.65 in Housing Benefit for two of his former tenants from 2018 while the property in question was let to five tenants without a HMO licence.
“This is a landmark case; the first banning order to be applied since it became part of law more than a year ago. It shows how seriously we take the issue of rogue landlords. It is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our officers that once his existing leases expire this, now former landlord, can no longer continue to operate until 2024” says a council spokesperson.
Housing Minister Esther McVey says: “I welcome the fact that councils like Telford & Wrekin are making use of the powers available to tackle these criminals, forcing them to either raise their standards or leave the sector entirely.”
The council understands that Beattie has applied for leave to appeal the tribunal’s decision.