A LANDLORD has been ordered to pay more than £500 by a court after failing to supply tenant references.

Nichola Barker, of Glebe Houses, Ferryhill, did not attend the hearing at Darlington Magistrates Court, where she was due to appear in connection with failure to pass on tenant reference checks to Durham County Council.

The Dean Bank, Ferryhill Selective Licensing designation was set up in 2013 to ensure properties are managed appropriately and licensed in accordance with the Housing Act 2004.

Landlords must carry out reference checks on all prospective tenants and must provide the results to the council on request.

In this particular case, the defendant failed to provide evidence of suitable tenancy referencing checks and was charged with failing to comply with a condition of her licence.

Barker, aged 40, was found guilty in her absence.

She was fined £220 and ordered to pay costs of £330 and a victim surcharge of £22.

Speaking after the case, Sarah Robson, Durham County Council’s head of economic development and housing, said: “It is crucial that satisfactory references are obtained from all prospective tenants in the area for selective licensing.

“Barker failed to adhere to the conditions of her licence in not providing them for her tenant and now has a conviction and a hefty bill to pay as a result.

“This case should act as a warning to her and other landlords in this area that we will enforce the licensing policy.”