Barking letting agent Primelodge Estates back in the dock for breaking law
An estate agent in Barking has been brought before the courts for a second time – this time being found guilty of three offences and ordered to pay almost £7,000 in fines and costs.
Primelodge Estates Ltd, of Longbridge Road, failed to apply for a property licence from Barking and Dagenham Council, which is mandatory for all residential lettings across the borough, for a flat they managed in Ashdown Court.
Barkingside Magistrates Court also heard the company had failed to provide documents to the council that outlined who owned the property, as well as copies of the business accounts showing rental income and details of the deposit.
The estate agent, whose website says they have 10 years' experience in sales, lettings and management, had previously been fined £10,000 for failing to publicise their fees.
Sending a strong message
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: "This estate agent has shown a complete lack of regard for their legal duties and I hope this sends a strong message to them, and all other landlords and agents, that we will not hesitate to take action to protect our residents from those who put profit ahead of people."
The business was fined £2,000 per offence, with £742.50 in costs and £170 victim surcharge – a total of £6,912.50 – at the hearing on Friday 28 September.
The council introduced the requirement for private landlord’s to have a licence in 2014 and is currently consulting on a new scheme.