Beware of Unlicensed Letting Agents

A case in Peterborough relating to an unlicensed letting agent:

A Peterborough letting agent has been fined more than £2,000 after being found guilty of operating without a licence for a third time.  Mohammed Khubaib (41) of Beehive Lettings, Peterborough, pleaded not guilty to having control of, or managing a house of multiple occupation, without a licence at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court.

It is a requirement under the Housing Act 2004 to hold a licence when operating a house of multiple occupation. After a short trial, Khubaib was found guilty of the offence and fined £2,250 and ordered to pay costs of £1,865 and a £15 victim surcharge for his offence.

The owner of the property, Maroof Hussain (36) of Northfield Road, Peterborough, also failed to licence the property despite several warnings from the city council.  Hussain pleaded guilty to having control of, or managing a house of multiple occupation, without a licence and was ordered to pay a £1,250 fine, £800 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Khubaib, who has been a letting agent in the city for more than 10 years, has been convicted of the same offence on two previous occasions in 2005 and 2010.

He was also convicted of illegally evicting a tenant in March 2012.

The property in Cromwell Road, Peterborough, was made subject to an interim management order in January 2012 after council officers attended following a fire.  During the visit council officers found nine people, who formed seven households, all living in the property which was suitable for a maximum of six people.

On numerous occasions, both the owner and the agent were instructed to apply for a licence, however neither made the necessary application or took action to repair the fire damage to the property. This resulted in the city council carrying out the repairs, costing in excess of £12,000, to bring the property up to the required standard.

In this particular case it seems that the landlord was aware of his obligations and chose to ignore them as well as instructing a rouge letting agent to manage his property.  This case highlights how an unlicensed letting agent neglected his legal responsibilities to tenants and landlords.  DO NOT INSTRUCT AN UNLICENSED LETTING AGENT – LOOK FOR ARLA QUALIFIED STAFF.

You can see the full article here

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