20 Oct 2016

Housing and Planning

Landlord fined for not having the correct licences

A private landlord has been found guilty of failing to obtain the appropriate licences for his properties.

Adam Habane, who manages eight flats in the Stapleton Road licensing area, was ordered to pay more than £20,000 in fines and costs.

At Bristol Magistrates Court, Mr Habane was convicted, in his absence, of offences under the Housing Act 2004. The flats are required to be licensed under the Bristol City Council’s Stapleton Road property licensing scheme.

The flats, in two properties at 122 and 244 Stapleton Road, were managed by Mr Habane and despite repeated warnings he failed to apply for the correct licences and pay the appropriate fees.

When sentencing, the Magistrate referred to the fact that Mr Habane had a previous conviction in 2014, for failing to license a House in Multiple Occupation.

In April 2013 Bristol City Council declared a licensing scheme for private rented properties within the area of Stapleton Road, Easton and surrounding streets.

Licensing places conditions on the landlord or agent to ensure that minimum property standards are met and that good management practice is delivered. The scheme requires properties that are rented by private landlords to be licensed by Bristol City Council.

Councillor Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, said: “We have made assurances to the responsible landlords, who applied for their property licences within the required time-scales, that we will investigate any circumstance where we believe a property is not licensed as it should be. 

“Mr Habane was aware of his duties and failing to apply for licences has cost him a considerable sum in fines and fees.

“I would urge any landlord or manager that has not yet applied for their property licence in the Easton, St George West and Eastville wards of the city to contact the Private Rented Sector Team and make their applications.”

Bristol City Council continues to undertake investigations in the Easton area to find properties where the landlords, managers or agents have failed to apply for a licence.

In addition the council has declared further property licensing schemes in Eastville and St George West.  Most properties that are rented out in the private sector in these areas will require a licence and the date by which applications should have been made has now passed.

Landlords or managers of rented properties in these areas can still make applications, but they will now have to pay an unlicensed fee.

It is an offence to operate a licensable property without a licence, conviction could lead to an unlimited fine.

For more information or to make an application go to www.bristol.gov.uk/privatehousing