A Lincolnshire landlord has received what is thought to be the biggest fine ever handed out to a residential landlord in the UK, after failing to comply with a selective licence scheme.
59 years old Jagdish Singh of Southernhay Road, Leicester, was fined 108,000, after pleading guilty to failing to licence eight of his properties, and in addition, for ignoring improvement notices.
Singh, along with three other landlords, at Lincoln Magistrate’s Court last week, were handed out fines totalling £232,155.68 for failing to licence their properties
The four landlords were the first in the West Lindsey District Council selective licensing scheme area to fall foul of the regulations. These were introduced to the district in July 2016.
Selective licensing, unlike the other forms of residential rental property licensing, such as for HMOs, means that all houses within the private rented sector for that designated district must be licensed and must comply with certain higher standards laid down and enforced by the authority under the scheme.
The idea behind them is that it will generally improve standards of property management, maintain property values in the area for landlords, and tackle anti-social behaviour in the private rented sector by forcing local landlords to meet these higher standards.
The other defendants appearing in court with Singh, also living on Southernhay Road, Leicester, own the properties jointly Singh. Gurjit Singh and Balbir Kaur were both fined £15,000 for two offences each and ordered to each pay costs of £1,048.56, plus £170 surcharge.
Harpal Bindra Singh, who was fined £15,000 per offence, was also found guilty for failing to comply with an improvement notice and given the maximum £5,000 fine. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1048.56, plus £170 surcharge.
Chairman of the communities committee at West Lindsey District Council Cllr Sheila Bibb, said:
“The courts have made it very clear in these prosecutions – that landlords will face tough fines and restrictions if they do not comply with the scheme.
“The private rented sector is the only option available for some of the most vulnerable people in our area and this action sends a clear message that the council wishes to work with good landlords to improve this sector and identify the poor or criminal landlords.”