A Nottingham landlord and former Nottingham Forest footballer has been fined more than £25,000 after admitting a dozen licensing offences.
Dexter Blackstock appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court where he faced charges relating to 12 unlicensed properties he owned, all which were required to be licensed under either parts two or three of the Housing Act.
Blackstock, aged 33 of Papplewick, was convicted of nine offences of failing to license properties under the Selective Licensing scheme.
These were in Addison Street, Haydn Road, Langtry Grove, Marmion Road, Magdala Road and Hucknall Road.
He also failed to license two properties under the additional licensing scheme – in Bingham Road and Addison Street – with one other offence under Mandatory Licensing for a flat in Addison Street.
Blackstock was fined £24,000, £1,100 costs and a victim surcharge of £170.
Paul James, aged 54, of Nottingham, who managed the properties also faces ten charges – seven for selective licensing breaches, two for additional licensing and one for mandatory licensing.
His case has been adjourned until November.
The prosecution was brought by Nottingham City Council’s safer housing team.
The court heard that the total rental income for the 12 properties was more than £10,500 a month. It would have cost £12,180 to licence them for a period of five years.
Also, as part of investigations into the case, enforcement officers visited a number of their properties, where they found disrepair and in some cases found smoke alarms that weren’t working.
This meant that the people renting his properties would not have been given any warning if a fire broke out.
Emergency works were carried and enforcement action was taken under part one the Housing Act 2004.
Councillor Linda Woodings, portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage on the council, said: “This is another good result for the council and I’d like to pay tribute to the hard work of the safer housing team.
“Properties have to be licensed for a good reason – to provide higher standards, regular maintenance and, most importantly, to make sure that tenants across the city are safe and living in acceptable conditions.
“Blackstock has continually placed his profits over ensuring that these homes were appropriately licensed.
“The purpose of the licensing regime is to guarantee the house is suitable for the number of people occupying it, and that the licence holder is fit-and-proper person to hold a licence as well as additional controls over anti-social behaviour.
“Taking action like this is always a last resort when a landlord or agent refuses to engage with us.
"We want to work constructively with landlords to improve the standards of rented properties, but we make no apology for bringing people before the courts and we hope this sends out a strong message.”
Anyone wanting to report a landlord who has failed to license their property should call 0115 915 2020, option three. For information on how to find a good private-rented home through the Nottingham Standard visit [website address].