William Eichler 22 August 2017

Council prosecutes letting agent for issuing ‘sham licences’

Islington Council has successfully prosecuted a letting agent for issuing ‘sham licences’ in the first prosecution of its kind.

Green Live Ltd was fined £20,500, including compensation for the two victims of the sham licences, after they were reported to the council’s (housing) preventions and options team.

The letting agent issued the licences instead of tenancy agreements. They were designed to make the occupiers believe they had no right to challenge eviction or be given legally defined notice periods or minimum occupancy term periods.

The occupiers also did not benefit from the statutory deposit protection scheme because the agreement was not a tenancy.

The victims of the sham licences first contacted the (housing) preventions and options team at Islington Council in 2016 because they were not able to recover their deposits.

The team then contacted trading standards to alert it to concerns about the sham licences issued to the victims, which triggered an investigation culminating in prosecution.

Green Live Ltd pleaded guilty to two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 relating to the issuing of licences to occupy where the fact gave rise to a tenancy.

The company also pleaded guilty to a further offence under the regulations of using a letting agency association logo where it was not a member.

Green Live Ltd was fined £11,000 for the two sham licences issued and £5000 for the misuse of a logo. The two victims of the sham licences were awarded compensation totalling £3000 and Islington Council was awarded costs of £1500.

‘We want everyone in Islington to have a decent, secure home, and to be protected from illegal and precarious housing conditions,’ said Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development.

‘This case, which we believe is the first of its kind in the country, shows we will take action where letting agents break the law and issue sham licences.

‘We will not tolerate illegal practices like sham licences in Islington and if we become aware of any similar cases we will investigate with a view to prosecution.’

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Adult Social Care (CLDT)

Bolton Council
£31,895
This is a permanent Social Work role in Adult Social Care. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Principal Programme Officer

Bolton Council
£35,336
Do you enjoy variety and change? Can you keep your eye on the detail whilst also thinking strategically? Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

IDT Junior Developer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£28,226 - £30,095
Telford & Wrekin Council are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated Junior Developer. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Activities Leader (Outdoor Adventurous Activities)

Leicestershire County Council
£20,856
Lead activities and ensure that delivery of programmes are of a high standard. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Transition Support Worker (Complex Needs)

Leicestershire County Council
£19,701
This is an exciting opportunity for to work with an experienced team delivering high quality learning opportunities and care. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.