A LANDLORD who rented out a home without a licence has had his £15,000 fine slashed on appeal.
Jason Aaron Parker was taken to court by Portsmouth City Council after renting out rooms at his house in Victoria Road North, Southsea, without going through the proper channels.
He was initially fined £525 by magistrates.
But then he was ordered to repay more than 12 months of rent – totalling more than £15,000 – after six of his tenants took their case to a Residential Property Tribunal. Now that figure has been cut to £4,771 on appeal at the Upper Tribunal.
Dad Mr Parker, who described himself as a property professional, blamed the ‘extreme pressure’ combination of work and caring for two teenagers for failing to get the property licences.
Mr Parker argued that he had already been properly punished with the fine by magistrates.
He said he had been humiliated by press coverage of the case.
Judge George Bartlett QC, Upper Tribunal President, accepted Mr Parker’s plea that the rent repayment order had wrongly been extended over a full 12-month period.
He agreed mortgage and utilities costs should have been offset.
The judge ruled that the rent repayment order should have been pitched at 75 per cent of the profit he made on renting out the property.
Bruce Bruce Lomax, private sector housing manager at the council, said: ‘We’re in the process of consulting with residents, landlords and letting agents, with the possibility of introducing additional licensing to certain areas of the city.
‘If this is introduced and landlords fail to apply for licences, then we could see more cases such as this.
‘In this case, we provided help to the tenants with their own application for the rent repayment order and we are pleased to see that justice for all parties concerned has prevailed.’