A landlord has been ordered to pay over £56,000 after failing to license four properties.
Burnley Council, which operates a selective licensing scheme, prosecuted David Vallender at the town’s magistrates court.
The court heard that Vallender had asked for exemption forms for three of the properties, but then failed to return the forms despite several requests.
The court was also told that Vallender may have tried to avoid licensing by creating 21-year leases for his tenants. However, these were not accepted as a lawful exemption.
In his absence, Vallender was fined £12,500 per property and ordered to pay a £5,000 victim surcharge plus £1,100 costs.
The bill compares with the £750 per property five-year licence fee that Burnley Council currently charges – although a series of discounts applies, including discounts where a landlord has more than one property.
Cllr John Harbour, executive member for housing and leisure, said: “The landlord was given every opportunity to work with us but failed to provide the information we needed, despite repeated requests and meetings with officers.
“This was one of the biggest fines ever handed out by the courts in this country for failing to properly license properties.
“It shows the importance of landlords and managing agents working with us to improve the management of privately rented houses in our borough.”
Burnley Council is currently running a consultation as to whether it should create a new area in the town for selective licensing and whether existing schemes should be extended in three other areas.