Thanet District Council has prosecuted a Dartford-based landlord for breaching the selective licence of his Cliftonville property.
Selective licensing was introduced by the Council in 2011 to parts of Cliftonville and Margate. All privately rented properties in the designated area must be licensed with the Council, unless subject to exemption. This is part of the Council’s wider regeneration activity in Margate, and the scheme requires landlords to meet a range of conditions to help safeguard tenants through good property management.
Andrew Bellringer of Tilmans Mead, Farningham, Dartford, failed to provide a copy of an Electrical Installation Condition Report in respect of 5 Julian Court, 1-3 Edgar Road, Cliftonville, Margate. It is a requirement of selective licensing that all licence holders check the electrical safety of their rental properties at least once every five years.
The case was heard at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on 24 July, where Andrew Bellringer pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to comply with a condition of his licence. However, the Magistrates found Mr Bellringer guilty and fined him £500 for the offence. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £50 and contribute £300 towards the Council’s prosecution costs.
Cllr. Lin Fairbrass, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Services said:
“Selective licensing requires landlords to manage their properties responsibly. This particular landlord chose not to take his management responsibilities seriously and failed, despite repeated Council requests, to provide the evidence that he had checked the property for electrical safety.
“Defective electrical installations increase the risk of electric shock and fire, which can cause serious injury and death. This is why we are currently ensuring that all licence holders provide the electrical and gas safety certificates required by the conditions of their licences. Licence holders who choose to ignore their responsibilities will be prosecuted.”