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Solicitor fined after admitting managing a property without a landlord's licence

A city solicitor has been fined after admitting not properly managing a property.

A city solicitor has been fined after admitting not properly managing a property.

A practising solicitor at compensation specialists pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates Court to not managing a property without a compulsory landlord licence.

Liverpool is the only city in the country to operate a Landlord Licensing scheme introduced in 2015  which lays out standards that the private rented sector must meet, and gives tenants an expectation of their rights.

So far the city has granted 38,000 Landlord Licences, but a further 6,500 unlicensed properties have been reported.

The house in Unicorn Road, Croxteth, first came to the City Councils attention in 2015 when they submitted an incomplete application.

Despite reminders which clearly outlined the scheme, the requirements to licence the property and the consequences of not doing, she still failed to act.

The Solicitor had submitted mitigation to the court for the sentencing hearing which focused on the fact she needed to obtain the correct gas safety certification before she could licence the property - even though by law she should have already had one.

District Judge Clancy fined her £1,200 for the offence, as well as ordering her to pay a victim surcharge of £120.00 plus the councils costs of £582.27, bringing the total bill to £1,902.27.

Following the hearing Cllr Frank Hont, Cabinet member for housing, said: Todays prosecution sends a clear message that we will robustly pursue those landlords who fail to comply with the city wide licensing regime, and also shows how seriously the courts take such offences.

The defendant was found guilty of not having the proper lisence for her property in Unicorn Road, Croxteth.It is important that private rented properties comply to minimum standards in relation to safety and property management. There are many good landlords who have come on board with licensing and by pursuing those who dont, the council seeks to ensure a level playing fieldThis is part of our ongoing drive to raise standards in the private rented sector.?

In 2016, the city council received over 3,500 complaints about properties with the majority about the private rented sector.

The councils Cabinet recently approved new powers which will give it the ability to hit rogue landlords with fines of up to £30,000 where properties are unsafe or dangerous, without having to resort to court action.

Of the unlicensed properties which have been inspected, around 78 percent have been found to be non-compliant, usually with significant issues in relation to fire, and in some cases they have been closed down.

There have now been around 20 successful prosecutions, 113 cautions issued and 41 formal written warnings. Another 670 cases are currently being considered for prosecution.

To speak to one of our lettings team at Liverool Central, please call 0151 231 1613 or email liverpoolcentral@belvoir.co.uk

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