A landlord who persistently broke residential lettings rules has been banned from operating in a landmark legal ruling.
Julie Stoddern, of Camborne, is the first person in the county to be issued with such a Banning Order after Cornwall Council applied under new legislation following years of offending.
The order, prohibits Stoddern from engaging in residential lettings for five years and she will be entered into the national Rogue Landlords Database, which currently has only around 50 people on it.
Stoddern was prosecuted by the Council and convicted at Truro Magistrates’ Court in November 2020. She was ordered to pay a fine of £2,500 for each of two offences, costs of £5,515 and a victim surcharge of £190.
Those offences related to the breach of a Prohibition Order, allowing the property in question to be overcrowded and failure to hold an HMO licence.
Stoddern has now been convicted of offences under the Housing Act 2004 on three separate occasions over an eight-year period.
Due to the seriousness and repeat nature of the offending, Cornwall Council submitted an application to the First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber for a Banning Order to be made.
Last week, that order was accepted and a ban issued immediately.
The order, which is subject to appeal, prohibits Stoddern from letting houses, letting agency work or property management work in England.
The latest offences came to the attention of the council during the first national lockdown due to concerns that the house risked increasing community Covid transmission.
Stuart Kenney, from the council, said: “Prosecution, including fines issued by Truro Magistrates’ Court, have seemingly not deterred repeat offending and the council has exhausted all options available to encourage compliance.
“There have been multiple reports of antisocial behaviour and police attendance to the address over several years, with a demonstrably high community impact linked to the offending.
“Breaching a landlord Banning Order is a criminal offence and can lead to a fine and/or imprisonment for up to 51 weeks.
“It is hoped that the risk of imprisonment will stop further offending. Compliance with the order will be monitored throughout the five-year term, and the council will not hesitate to take further action in the event of a breach occurring.”
Council spokesperson Councillor Andrew Mitchell says: “Cornwall Council is committed to supporting good landlords and it has an excellent track record of tackling rogue landlords. Banning Order applications are reserved for the worse offences, and to tackle repeat offenders, and this is the first landlord Banning Order that the Council has applied for since the regulations were introduced in 2018.”
This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.