Colin Harrison, of Gipton in East Leeds, was fined at Leeds Magistrates Court after admitting to six offences against the selective licensing rules; £1,000 with costs of £2,447, including a victim surcharge of £15.
The issue of false references came about after Harrison’s property received umpteen complaints from neighbours, regarding anti-social behaviour, which happened to be in an area covered by a selective licensing scheme.
Then, following the West Yorkshire Police attending Harrison’s rented property on no less than 17 occasions (since November 2008), Leeds City Council requested that Harrison provide references for one of his tenants who had recently moved into the area.
Suspicions were then raised when one of the referees denied writing the reference.
This is the second time Colin Harrison has been prosecuted by Leeds City Council 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.”
This case firmly highlights two key importances for all landlords and letting agents in the UK:
1. The importance of obtaining truthful tenant references from compliant and reputable sources
2. The importance of ensuring that you fully comply with any selective licensing schemes which may be in place in your area.
It is an extremely significant service, because whilst Landlords can undertake references from credit agencies, employers, friends and family, they do not tell you how a tenant may conduct themselves both in payments and in their lifestyle.
Our database relies on members providing us with this unique information on their existing and previous tenants, which is then confidentially and safely stored to offer a match to other Landlords and Letting Agents; who may search against them for the purpose of a reference in the future.
It is also a fact that no matter how nice our new home is, if we have a dreadful neighbour it can spoil everything we strive for in trying to achieve a comfortable and quiet life for ourselves and our family. Therefore we believe that fully referencing your potential tenants will stop such issues of anti-social behaviour in our communities; protecting our good tenants interests.
Source : landlordreferencing