Letting firm ordered to pay £7,000 in seven days over safety concerns at flats near Milton Keynes

A letting firm has been given seven days to pay £7,000 in fines and costs after repeatedly failing to provide information on who owned and occupied flats in Old Stratford.

Prime Letts Ltd pleaded guilty at Northampton Magistrates’ Court to two offences under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 which requires them to provide information about person interested in the land.

Northampton Magistrates Court

Northampton Magistrates Court

Cllr Karen Cooper, South Northamptonshire Council’s portfolio holder for Wellbeing, said: “When this property was inspected by housing officers there was evidence that the conversion to flats was flawed and there were safety concerns which needed to be addressed.

“In order to do that legally the council needed to know who had an interest in the property.

“Enquiries by enforcement officers from the shared SNC/CDC housing team established that two of the flats were being let to tenants by Prime Letts Ltd on behalf of the landlord Mr Ralph Thompson.

“As Mr Thompson is also a director of Prime Letts Ltd, the council’s officers felt that Prime Letts should easily be able to provide all the essential information about these flats, and yet they consistently failed to do so, wasting considerable time in the process.

“Happily, the magistrate agreed with our case and I hope this sends a strong message to other property owners and agents: comply with the rules or we will prosecute.”

During the hearing its was learned that Prime Letts Ltd was being dissolved, prompting Magistrates to demand the fines of £4,000 and £3,000 costs be paid by Wednesday, 12 June.

UPDATE: A spokesman for Prime Letts has today (Wednesday June 19) issued a statement to the media which said: "We are not closing down. It is very much business as usual.

"We are 100% open for business while we appeal the decision of the court."