A landlord in Gipton has been fined over £3000 for accepting false references from his tenants.
Mr Colin Harrison, of Harrison Crescent, Gipton, was fined at Leeds Magistrates Court on Thursday 31 May for committing six offences against the selective licensing rules which operate in the Cross Green and East End area of the city. He pleaded guilty to all the offences and was fined £1000 with costs of £2447, including a victim surcharge of £15.
The case was brought before the courts following complaints from local residents of anti social behaviour originating from a property owned by Mr Colin Harrison.
Following these complaints officers from Leeds City Council’s selective licensing team working in cooperation with West Yorkshire Police established that the police had attended Mr Harrison’s rented property on 17 occasions since November 2008. Following these revelations council officers requested Mr Harrison provide references for his tenant who had just recently moved into the area.
Mr Harrison did provide references, but on closer inspection of the references officers discovered information which called the references into question. Further suspicions were raised when one of the referees denied writing the reference to Leeds City Council officers after being contacted by the selective licensing team.
This is the second time Mr Harrison has been prosecuted by Leeds City Councils selective licensing team for breaching his selective licence conditions
A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said:
“This serves as a warning to any landlords who do not obey the rules associated within the selective licensing area of the city.
“It is very important that landlords strive to obtain decent and truthful references from prospective tenants before allowing them to rent the property to stop such issues as anti social behaviour.
“It is the landlords responsibility to make sure these references are correct and to ensure they are checked before the tenant is accepted."
Notes to editors:
The cost of the five year Selective Licence is normally £525 which equates to approximately £2.00 per week over a five year period.
Where a landlord holds a current HMO Licence for a property within the Selective Licence Area they do not need to apply for a further Licence under the selective licensing provisions.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450