A Telford landlord has been banned from anything to do with letting in the first case of its kind.
According to the BBC, David Beattie will now have a five-year break from landlord business, which he’s probably not too happy about. He’s also been handed a rent repayment order and ordered to repay more than £2,000 of housing benefit to two former tenants.
Beattie was prosecuted under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which gives new powers to local authorities seeking banning orders on private sector landlords and property agents. Such banning orders came into force last year, although this is the first time a landlord has been successfully prosecuted.
Described as an “unfit landlord” back in 2015, Beattie operated a seven-bed HMO without a licence (because he was refused one). Despite not having an HMO licence, he continued to advertise rooms to let in the property. He also misled tenants about their rights, wrongly telling them he could evict them in 48-hours, which is incorrect. Instead of being given an assured shorthold tenancy, tenants were told they had no tenancy agreement, and therefore, no rights.
Telford and Wrekin Council had been aware of the property for several years and eventually took the decision to prosecute Beattie after it became clear he was operating without a licence and misleading tenants.
I Know Nothing, Says Landlord
The landlord sought to justify his behaviour by stating he had never been told he had been refused an HMO licence. He also told the tribunal he was helping at least one homeless man by offering him a room. However, the tribunal wasn’t swayed by Beattie’s claims of innocence. It ruled he had deliberately misled tenants about their security of tenure and legal rights.
This landlord’s details should now be logged on the national database of rogue landlords and property agents. He’ll now have five years to rethink his career trajectory.
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