Unlicensed landlord fined
almost ₤10,000 by a District Judge
LIVERPOOL'S Landlord Licensing Scheme aims to drive up
standards in the private rented sector, and action is now being taken against
those who are refusing to sign up. Landlords have to meet a variety of
conditions around fire, electric and gas safety rectifying disrepair issues,
tackling pest infestations, keeping the exterior in a good state of repair and
dealing with complaints about anti social behaviour caused by tenants. At
Liverpool Magistrates Court on 23 February, Joseph McKeever, from Liverpool, was
fined after being convicted of offences relating to 2 properties he was
privately renting in the City. Mr McKeever had not attended an earlier hearing
on 9 February 2017, when he had been convicted in his absence of failing to
licence 2 properties he was privately renting in Redbrook Street, in Anfield and
Haven Road, in Fazakerley, which is an offence under the Housing Act 2004. He
was also convicted of failing to respond to 2 legal notices sent to him asking
for information under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
Mr McKeever, who failed to attend court for sentencing, was fined ₤2,000 per
offence for failing to licence the properties and ₤2,500 per offence for failing
to comply with the legal notice. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge
of ₤170 and pay the City council costs of ₤776.46; a total of ₤9946.46.
The prosecution brings to 10 the number of landlords who have been prosecuted so
far, with fines totalling ₤27,000.
Cabinet Member for housing, Councillor Frank Hont, said:- "This is the
latest in a series of enforcement action we are taking against those landlords
who failed to come on board and apply for licences when the scheme was
introduced in 2015. A large proportion of landlords have willingly signed up for
the scheme and are working positively with us, which is why it is not fair on
them that some are wilfully ignoring the law. Mr McKeever's failure to work with
us is now costing him dear and a lot more than the few hundred pounds it would
have cost him had he applied for the 2 licences in the 1st place. Our message to
those landlords that haven't signed up is that you are committing a criminal
offence and if you don't engage you will get a big bill in Court."
In sentencing District Judge Shaw commented on the fact that the properties had
been rented by McKeever since at least 2013, and that he was in receipt of
public funds in the form of housing benefit for the properties. Around
8,000 landlords responsible for more than 44,000 properties are already engaged
with the Landlord Licensing scheme. Current and prospective tenants can access a
online to see if their landlord has started
the application process. Landlord licensing has the backing of campaign groups
including Shelter and Generation Rent.
2 charged following burglary and theft in Formby
MERSEYSIDE Police can confirm 2 males have been charged
with burglary, theft, theft shop and common assault following an incident that
took place on Thursday, 23 February 2017. We are told that the incident yook
place in the early hours of Thursday, 23 February 2017. Merseyside Police
Officers received a report of a burglary, at an address in Coniston Road,
Formby, whereby camera equipment, and numerous credit cards were stolen. The
cards were then used to withdraw cash, from an ATM, within the Formby area. Then
at around 9.30am, on 23 February 2017, a theft took place at Pound Lane, The
Strand and Officers detained 2 men. Officers discovered the 2 men in possession
of the stolen credit cards, from the earlier burglary. Alan Rimmer, 57 years of
Kipling Street, Bootle and David Keating, 41 years of Cookson Road, Seaforth
appeared at South Sefton Magistrates court, on 24 February 2017. Keating was
remanded in custody and Rimmer bailed with conditions, to appear at South Sefton
Magistrates Court on 14 April 2017.
Puppy in training to help children with learning disabilities and autism
AS part of a novel initiative to
provide support to young children with learning disabilities, health
professionals at Lancashire Care are welcoming a new member to their team: a
Shoodle called Ebony.
Ebony, who is 12 weeks old, is being trained to be a therapy dog by members of
the Learning Disability and Complex Needs Team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation
Trust. Therapy dogs are particularly valuable in supporting language and
communication, reducing anxiety, and helping with depression, emotional
regulation, selective mutism and dog phobias.
Zoe Yurek, Senior Learning Disability and Complex Needs Practitioner at
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:- "We are excited by this new
addition to our team and we really hope to be creative with how Ebony provides
support. A friend and neighbour had a litter of puppies and when I would visit
her, I'd always be drawn to the same little puppy. No matter how stressed I was,
all my worries would just melt away after stroking Ebony for a few minutes. She
was the smallest of the litter, the runt, but to me she was simply adorable and
perfect. I have already got a dog, a Westie called Skye, so it wasn't my
intention to get another, but Ebony was just too irresistible. Then it suddenly
occurred to me that Ebony could be the new Therapy Dog for our team. She will
have some big paws to fill and I really hope she has a long career with us."
Tracey Hartley Smith, Team Leader for the Learning Disability and Complex Needs
Team, said:- "We all love a little dog and Ebony is just so irresistible.
There is an emerging evidence base to indicate that pet therapy is a low tech,
low cost therapy that improves mood and is meaningful to Hospital and community
patients. It is, therefore, an exciting development for our team which will be
implemented with full consideration of health and safety and with established
contracts between practitioners, the young people and their families and Ebony
Ebony is a Shoodle, whereby her mum is a Shih Tzu and her dad a Toy Poodle. The
team previously had a dog who was PAT (Pets As Therapy) certified and provided
valuable support to a young boy with autism to overcome his phobia of dogs,
which proved successful in helping him overcome the condition.