Waltham Forest Council confirmed its right to refuse licences to even reformed criminal landlords after winning a court case last month.

Nasim Hussain and her daughter Farina took the council to court after the family’s licences for 29 rented properties were revoked and seven applications for new licences refused.

Lord Justice Hickinbottom at the Court of Appeal heard the council made this decision because of deceit and forgery committed by Mrs Hussain and her husband in 2016.

Mrs and Miss Hussain argued the council was wrong to deny them licences because of these convictions because they were “spent”, meaning the rehabilitation period passed without any further crimes.

The law protects those guilty of less serious crimes who have “spent” their convictions in this way to stop reformed criminals being discriminated against because of their past.

However, on November 19, the court decided the council can consider spent convictions “if it is satisfied justice cannot be done without admitting that evidence” and refused the appeal.

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Cllr Louise Mitchell, responsible for housing and homelessness prevention, said the council’s legal victory was important to ensure tenants were kept safe.

She said: “It is important that tenants who rent in the private sector can rely on their landlord to manage in a responsible way and to provide safe and secure accommodation.

“Where a landlord flouts their legal obligations and cut corners to expose tenants to unnecessary risks, it is only right that we can take this into account when deciding whether that landlord ought to be involved in the day to day letting and management of rented homes”

In May 2016, Mrs Hussain lied in her licence application for four homes, claiming they did not need gas safety certificates because they had no gas appliances.

She had told the same lie about 21 homes the previous year and got certificates for the properties only when forced to by the council.

When challenged about her 2016 applications, she sent the council four certificates that turned out to be “backdated forgeries”.

Her husband later pleaded guilty to forgery and was fined £1,000. Mrs Hussain was fined £40,000 after pleading guilty to “knowingly or recklessly supplying false information”.

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The council argued the Hussains’ failure to “carry out basic and inexpensive Gas Safety checks” and later fraud proved they were not a ‘fit and proper’ choice to act as licence holders.

Licences are required for properties used as houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) or which are located inside an area where the council has a selective licensing scheme.

Licences for homes in the selective licensing scheme cost £700 and licences for HMOs can cost up to £5,000 depending on the number of units.

The cost for a gas safety certificate ranges from £35 to £150.

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