Edinburgh landlord struck off register
Published Tuesday 3 July 2012
A landlord has been removed from the landlord register which makes it a criminal offence for him to rent out property - the first time this power has been used in Edinburgh.
Evidence was heard at the City of Edinburgh Council's Regulatory Committee where Yousef Mohammed's application to operate a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) at a flat in the south of the city was refused.
In addition his name was removed from the landlord register when Councillors decided he did not meet the fit and proper person criteria. The result is that Mr Mohammed can no longer operate as a residential landlord in Edinburgh.
Councillors heard evidence that Mr Mohammed had failed to adequately tell them about his criminal convictions and defied previous decisions of the Council where he continued to rent out HMO properties whilst not holding a licence.
Councillor Gavin Barrie, Convenor of the Regulatory Committee, said: "Edinburgh is open for all landlords who manage their properties and ensure that they are in good condition and that tenants can be safe and secure.
"However, for those who don't, the Council will take firm action. I would encourage everyone seeking to rent privately to check the landlord register to ensure that their prospective landlord is registered."
The Regulatory Committee decision was taken on 22 June.
Complaints received by the Council range from the unfair loss of deposits, failure to carry out repairs and the poor condition of a property, right through to abusive behaviour and illegal evictions.
There are legal requirements under the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004 for landlords of private rented residences (with a few exemptions) to register and, in addition, to obtain a licence for any which are let in multiple occupation with three or more unrelated tenants.
Local authorities can take action under registration and licensing legislation to strike them off the register and refuse or revoke a house in multiple occupation licence. If a landlord is removed from the register this makes it a criminal offence for him to let properties.
In August 2011 the legal test for being fit and proper to hold an HMO licence and to be on the Landlord Register were made the same and the maximum fine for breaking the legalisation increased to £50,000 for both offences.
Tenants can protect themselves by checking if their landlord is registered on the Scottish Government's National Landlord Registration website. Unregistered and unlicensed lets can be reported to the Local Authority.
For advice on landlord problems in Edinburgh please report them to the Council-run Private Rented Services on 0131 529 7454.