Private landlords have been fined thousands of pounds in a council crackdown.
Three Hyndburn landlords have incurred fines and costs totalling almost £3,000 for failing to comply with the council’s selective licensing scheme.
The scheme was introduced in December 2012 to help tackle low housing demand and requires landlords to comply with a range of conditions to ensure good property management.
The scheme requires all landlords in parts of Church, Kirk, Peel, Springhill, West Accrington and Woodnook to apply for a licence.
However Suzanne Smith, 51, of Roegreave Road, Oswaldtwistle failed to do so and became the first landlord to end up in court.
Smith pleaded guilty to an offence under section 95 of the Housing Act 2004 for failing to correctly licence her rental property at Wilfred Street, Accrington.
Hyndburn Magistrates Court ordered her to pay a total of £520 in fines and costs.
September saw two more landlords facing Hyndburn Magistrates for failing to obtain a licence.
Brian Capstick, 42, of Princess Street, Accrington attended court and pleaded guilty to failing to obtain a landlord licence for his rental property at Princess Street, Accrington.
He was ordered to pay a total of £425.
A third landlord was convicted in his absence last month of failing to obtain a landlord licence for his rental property in Accrington.
He was ordered to pay a total of £2,000 in fines and costs.
Coun Clare Cleary, Hyndburn council’s cabinet member for housing, said these prosecutions send a clear message to all landlords with homes in the designated area, that we are taking the selective licensing scheme very seriously.
She added: “It’s about improving the lives of tenants and improving the area, and, where landlords don’t apply for a licence and fail to engage with us, it can mean facing a court summons.”
Coun Cleary added: “The Private Rented Team is in the process of bringing further cases of this kind to court.
“So if you are a landlord without a licence in this area, apply urgently.”
To find out if a property is within the selective licensing area, visit hyndburnbc.gov.uk or call Hyndburn council on 01254 388111.