The first landlord to be struck off the landlord register?
Research carried out by Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group has shown that no landlord has ever been struck off the landlord register. This includes rogue landlord, Mark Fortune, who was taken to court for threatening his tenants over a dispute that started with a broken lock and shower. The millionaire landlord, got off lightly with a £650 fine, considering he threatened his tenants – albeit with a heavy dose of braggadocio: “do you know who Iam … of what I’m capable of?” He then alluded to his hardmen friends, who had just done time and who might owe him a favour.
The row between Fortune and his tenants, started when the tenants carried out repairs themselves after trying in vain to talk to Fortune about getting them sorted. It was over the subsequent £160 repair bill, that Fortune came around to intimidate his tenants. Due to witnesses and an audio/video recording of Fortune’s hardman antics, he was forced to change his plea from ‘Not Guilty’ to ‘Guilty’ on the day of the hearing.
Fortune’s poor record concerning the leasing HMO properties and his record of threatening behaviour, should warrant t he permament deregistering as a landlord. Fortune continues to rack up a notorious record of abuse, even if some of those have had to be dropped (the charges relating to manipulation of state witnesses were later dropped). In the short time that EPTAG have been up-and-running, they have been advised of yet another recent incident of threatening a tenant of his.
Fortune has previously been banned from renting out four city properties and Councillors ruled he was unfit to hold a house in multiple occupation licence. Since then he was convicted for operating without such a licence, and fined £1,000. Landlordism is parasitical no matter the character of the landlord. But we need to stand-up to the likes of Fortune, who exploit the lack of power we have as private tenants, by withholding our deposits, refusing repairs, and carrying out illegal evictions.
Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group are holding a public meeting in March to launch a campaign for tougher enforcement against criminal landlords:
Stop Criminal Landlords : Public Meeting
Thursday, March 8
7pm – 9pm
Old St Pauls Church, 39 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DH
The Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group, a new volunteer-run community group started by concerned Edinburgh residents to address the increasing incidence of housing abuses carried out by ‘cowboy’ landlords and property agencies in Edinburgh, including scams and illegal charges, negligence, threats and violent behaviour . “One of the aims of EPTAG is to campaign for stricter and better enforced legislation of the private rented sector. Many people enter into tenancies through letting agencies who gleam money from tenants by way of claiming ridiculous charges, withholding deposits, ‘accidental’ duplicate collection of rent, etc. Similarly there are landlords who have been banned from leasing properties but continue to do so without any enforcement of the law which has deemed them unfit to be landlords. We are urging tenants to address any offences against them, no matter how small, as the large majority of offences can be reversed by seeking help and advice.”
Share and Enjoy