In a legal first, Trading Standards successfully prosecuted a landlord for knowing or suspecting that his property was being used for criminal activity.
The property was a corner shop that was being used to trade illicit cigarettes. Over the years Trading Standards had conducted several raids of the property and prosecuted the people running the trade but it still continued. Trading Standards had repeatedly written to the landlord informing him of the actions of his tenant and asking the landlord to take action, warning him of the consequences of continuing to accept the rent. The landlord’s response was simply that the tenant’s actions were ‘nothing to do with him’ and he did not take any action against his tenant.
The landlord’s stance backfired. The court found him guilty, giving him an 8 month suspended sentence, 150 hours unpaid work and ordering that the rent he received from the tenant be subject to a Proceeds of Crime hearing where it is likely that all or some of the rent will be confiscated.