Landlord Dein Weinberg has been ordered to repay nearly £20,000 in housing benefit for five houses he rented out in Salford without a license.
Weinberg, who lives in London, was fined £19,958.84 by the residential property tribunal which granted the rent repayment order at a hearing which he did not attend.
Salford Council implemented the Charlestown and Lower Kersal licensing scheme in January 2011 and Mr Weinberg failed to apply for it.
He received housing benefit for over a year to cover rent for the unlicensed properties in Ventnor Street, Romney Street, Lydford Street, Milnthorpe Street and Blandford Road.
Gena Merrett, assistant mayor for housing and environment, welcomed the decision. She said: ‘We make it quite clear to landlords that licensing is a legal requirement and that we will take action if they fail to comply. This includes seeking repayment of any housing benefit claimed while the properties are unlicensed.
‘We introduced licensing to improve standards for private tenants and make sure landlords are fit and proper to run those properties. Mr Weinberg failed to comply and has paid the price.’
The houses are still unlicensed and Salford is considering further action.