Gainsborough

Hefty fines for four Gainsborough landlords who failed to comply with council’s selective licensing

Four Gainsborough landlords have been fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £232,155.68 after being caught out under West Lindsey District Council’s selective licensing scheme.

Collectively all four landlords incurred fines totalling £213,000 for 15 offences of failing to comply with selective licensing.

The council introduced selective licensing in July 2016 in certain parts of Gainsborough to improve property standards and management and reduce anti-social behaviour.

All landlords need to apply for a licence for each rental property they own.

More than 350 dwellings are now licensed in the area of the town and efforts are being made to ensure that all landlords comply with the scheme, with formal action being considered for those who do not.

The biggest fine of £108,000 was given to landlord, Jagdish Singh, 59, of Southernhay Road, Leicester.

He pleaded guilty to “failure to licence” eight of his properties, receiving a fine of £13,500 per offence.

It is believed to be the largest fine issued to one landlord to date in the country, for renting out properties without a selective licence.

Singh also pleaded guilty to three offences relating to the failure to comply with improvement notices and fined a further £4,500 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

The other three defendants who also live on Southernhay Road, Leicester, jointly own several of the unlicensed properties with Singh.

Gurjit Singh and Balbir Kaur had previously been found guilty for two ‘failure to licence’ offences each.

They 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 previously had three ‘failure to licence’ offences heard and determined in his absence and was fined £15,000 per offence.

He was also found guilty for one failure to comply with an improvement notice and given the maximum £5,000 fine and ordered to pay costs of £1,048.56, plus £170 surcharge.

Councillor Sheila Bibb, chairman of the prosperous communities committee at West Lindsey District Council, 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.”

Any unlicensed landlords in the designated area or residents concerned that their landlord is operating unlicensed, should [email protected]

Tenants with concerns about the conditions in their rental property should contact 01427 676 676 to submit a disrepair report form.