Agency fined for managing an unlicensed property

A property management and letting agency in Enfield received a £7,500 fine and was ordered to pay £1,299 in costs with an additional £2,000 victim surcharge (a total of £10,799), during a recent sentencing hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court.

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Legal responsibility for licensing 

Selective licensing in Enfield applies to all privately rented residential properties occupied by one or two persons, or single family households, in 14 areas of the borough. The law places responsibility for licensing on anyone who is managing or in control of a privately-rented property. This includes property management and letting agents and is not just the responsibility of landlords.

The agency in this case was convicted for managing a privately rented property that was required to be licensed under the council’s selective licensing scheme.

Cllr Susan Erbil, Enfield Council’s cabinet member for licensing, planning and regulatory services, stated that it was disappointing to see landlords breaking the law by not obtaining the legally required licence to let their properties and the successful prosecution of of this agency should be wake up call.

Managing agents and landlords should get in touch with their local council if they have any questions about property licensing schemes in their area. 

Propertymark supports members 

Members are encouraged to make full use of the resources and training Propertymark provides to ensure they clearly understand their responsibilities and do not fall foul of civil penalties in this area. 


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Fact sheet: Selective Licensing (England)

The Housing Act 2004 allows local authorities to apply for Selective Licensing of privately rented properties in areas which are experiencing low housing demand and/or suffering from anti-social behaviour.

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Fact sheet: Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation

In May 2015, the UK Government announced that they would extend mandatory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to address poor conditions and overcrowding.