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West Northamptonshire Council obtain Banning Order against rogue landlord

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has obtained a Banning Order against a rogue landlord preventing him from letting houses in England for 3 years.

A First Tier Tribunal granted the Order against Stephen Cunningham of Cogenhoe, Northamptonshire, in May 2024, following a 3-year investigation which included convictions for 21 offences under the Housing Act 2004 as well as a fine of £115,181. 

Cunningham, who was the landlord of four properties in Northampton, was found guilty of offences including failure to licence properties as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and failure to maintain standards of safety in accordance with the Management Regulations.

In progressing the case, WNC issued an Emergency Prohibition Order regarding a collapsed floor in one of the rented properties; undertook Emergency Remedial Action due to the lack of fire detection and alarm systems; and prohibited the use of a room that was being used as sleeping accommodation but had planning approval for a bin or bike store.

As a result of the convictions in the Magistrates Court, the Council applied for a Banning Order which will remain in place from 17 June 2024 to 16 May 2027. 

The Order bans Mr Cunningham from letting houses in England or engaging in letting agency work or property management work in England.

During the sentencing, which took place on Thursday 20 April 2023 at Northampton Magistrates Court, the District Judge remarked that the tenants were vulnerable and had a reasonable expectation that the landlord would provide a safe home, and in this case, nothing would have been done to improve their living conditions without the intervention of the Council.

“This Banning Order sends out a strong message to all landlords across West Northamptonshire that the Council will utilise all its legal options to ensure that there is no place for criminal and rogue landlords operating in our private rented accommodation sector.”Cllr Rosie Herring, Cabinet Member for Housing

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