Prosecution sees £24,000 fine for fire hazard property
A LANDLORD of a property in Bath was fined for renting out the house in multiple occupation (HMO) that was found to be in ‘poor condition’.
Somerset Live reported on the prosecution of Allan Green over the HMO in Bath, which came about after a resident complained to Bath and North East Somerset Council over the conditions. On investigating the site, the council discovered the property was in a ‘shocking state’, with damp on the ceilings and ‘dilapidated’ conditions elsewhere, while officers also found fire hazards ‘particularly related to the means of escape from the building’.
Mr Green was asked to supply the council with the latest gas and electrical test certificates ‘but failed to do so’, while HMO manager contact details ‘were not displayed in a prominent position’. He was also said, in the case at Bath Magistrates’ Court, to have ‘failed to co-operate with the council or respond to a formal request for information’, and he failed to complete any remedial works and to apply for an HMO licence, despite being served with schedules of work.
He was charged with failing to licence an HMO and failing to comply with HMO management regulations, as well as ‘failing to respond to a formal request for information’. He was found guilty on all six counts and fined £24,000, consisting of £4,000 for each of the six offences, and was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,860 and a victim surcharge of £170.
A council spokesman added that ‘officers found the property should have been licensed as an 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’. Paul Myers, cabinet member for economic and community regeneration, added: ‘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 and North East Somerset Council.’