A LANDLORD has had to pay over £1,500 in court fees and fines for failing to licence his property properly.

George McAlister, 55, of Eastbourne Road, pleaded guilty by post to failing to apply for a license for a house of multiple occupancy and for providing false and misleading information to avoid licensing.

Council officials first visited McAlister’s Pensbury Street property in April, and were told only one person lived there, but further investigations found evidence of rooms being let and bed and breakfast accommodation offered.

Fire precautions in the house were also assessed as being inadequate.

Chris McEwan, Darlington Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “Landlords have a legal and moral duty to provide certain levels of protection for their tenants and although we will always try to work with landlords and help them, they will be prosecuted if they fail to adhere to legal requirements.

“Tenant safety is of paramount importance to the council.”