A £5,000 fine issued to a Welwyn Hatfield landlord - after he failed to declare himself as a property agent and join a mandatory scheme - has been upheld.

Farrukh Faheem was hit with the fine by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council in October 2021, after he did not sign up to become a member of a government administered redress scheme under The Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work Order 2014.

Anyone who engages in property management is required to be a member of a recognised redress scheme, which gives all parties peace of mind that any complaint can be resolved by an independent third party which has the right expertise.

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Mr Faheem appealed the fine with the General Regulatory Chamber, claiming to be a guarantor and not an agent, but his appeal was unsuccessful.

"The duty to enforce consumer protection laws will not be served by imposing derisory penalties. In all the circumstances, I am satisfied that that appropriate penalty is £5,000," said Upper Tribunal Judge Rintoul as he handed down the judgement.

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"The judgement highlights the hard work and correct approach of the council’s private sector housing team and reinforces its determination to ensure that all local property agents are members of a redress scheme," said a spokesman for Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. 

"Membership benefits them as well as residents who privately rent in the borough.

"Anyone who falls within the legal definition of the letting agent or manager is encouraged to immediately join if they are not already a member and avoid similar consequences."