A Bath landlord has been fined £24,000 after failing to licence and manage a House in Multiple Occupation, which council investigators found to be in poor condition and had fire hazards.
Allan Green, of Credenhill Road, London, was charged with failing to licence a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), failing to comply with regulations related to the management of the HMO and failing to respond to a formal request for information. Green was found guilty of all offences by Bath Magistrates and fined £24,000, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,860 and a victim surcharge of £170.
The court heard Bath & North East Somerset Council started investigations after receiving a complaint from a resident about the property. Officers found the property should have been licensed as a HMO because it is within the council’s Additional Licensing area and was occupied by three unrelated tenants who were sharing one or more amenity. The court heard that officers found the house to be in a poor condition with a number of fire hazards, particularly related to the means of escape from the building. Green was asked to supply the latest gas and electrical test certificates to the council, but failed to do so and contact details for the HMO manager were not displayed in a prominent position within the property. The court heard the defendant also failed to co-operate with the council or respond to a formal request for information. Council officers served schedules of works on Green but he failed to complete any of the remedial work and did not apply for a HMO licence.
Councillor Paul Myers, the Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “Our housing service always works in partnership with landlords to improve housing standards wherever possible. Additional licensing helps to ensure that occupants of HMOs are able to live in safe and well managed properties. “Where landlords fail to licence their properties such as the case here, they are undermining the objectives of the additional licensing scheme and are putting the safety of their tenants at risk. This case shows our message is clear – landlords and letting agents operating outside the law will not be tolerated by Bath & North East Somerset Council.”