A banning order has been imposed against a landlord for running an unlicensed shared house and misleading tenants over their rights.
The order is believed to be the first granted in England.
The ignominious honour goes to house in multiple occupation landlord David Beattie – who has leave to appeal the decision.
A First-Tier Property Tribunal made banned him after granting Telford and Wrekin Council an order to claw back £1,924 paid to Beattie as housing benefit on behalf of two tenants renting rooms in a shared house.
The tribunal was told that Beattie was found guilty last year of running the shared house without a licence and misleading tenants about the rights by issuing licences instead of tenancy agreements that threatened they could face eviction within 48 hours.
The tribunal also heard that Beattie was considered unfit to rent out property as a landlord.
The banning order means he must not have involvement in letting or property management for five years.
Beattie runs seven properties and must not take on any new tenants, although current tenants may stay until the end of their contracts.
Councillor Richard Overton, Telford and Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement, said: “This is a landmark case. The first banning order to be applied since it became part of law more than a year ago.
“It shows how seriously we take the issue of rogue landlords. It is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our officers that once his existing leases expire this, now former landlord, can no longer continue to operate until 2024.”
The case has also attracted praise from housing minister Esther McVey.
“Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live, and I am determined to crack down on rogue landlords who consistently choose to neglect their responsibilities,” she said.
“I welcome the fact that councils like Telford and Wrekin are making use of the powers available to tackle these criminals, forcing them to either raise their standards or leave the sector entirely.”