A buy-to-let landlord in Worcester has been ordered to pay almost £3,000 for operating an unlicensed House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) on Canterbury Road, WR5.
Worcester Magistrates Court heard that Mohammed Rafiq operated a premises illegally, leaving the council with little option but to take legal action against the landlord.
Rafiq was charged with three offences for breaches of the management of HMO regulations, including failing to supply firefighting equipment and having insufficient fire alarms, failing to install emergency lighting and the failure to display his name, address and contact details at the house.
Cllr James Stanley, chair of Worcester City Council’s communities committee, commented: “The majority of landlords in Worcester abide by the law but as this case demonstrates, the City Council won’t hesitate to act in cases where landlords exploit tenants, provide dangerous or substandard accommodation or flout their legal obligations,” said.
“I would urge any Worcester residents who are facing difficulties with their tenancy or have concerns about an HMO to contact the City Council’s housing team for advice and support.”
City of Lincoln Council has taken action against a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) landlord in Lincoln for failing to comply with a number of safety breaches under the Housing Act 2004.
Julie Churchill who was responsible for an unlicensed HMO at 135 Monks Road, LN2, has been fined £40,000 for letting out a dangerous HMO that was also unlicensed.
Lincoln Magistrates Court heard that the property had no fire doors to the bedrooms, ground floor lounge or kitchen, no working fire alarms on the ground floor, while one of the three bedrooms had a door with a large gap to the top which would allow smoke to escape in the event of a fire. In addition, all the bedroom doors could be locked by a padlock which if in use, would not allow for a swift escape in the event of a fire.
It also transpired that the stairs were painted gloss black and had no slip resistance, while the kitchen did not have adequate facilities for occupants. The court was also told that the seven unrelated immigrants occupying the property were unaware of their rights.
They had no tenancy agreement, rent book or rent receipt during their tenancy. Cllr Donald Nannestad, portfolio holder for Quality Housing at City of Lincoln Council, commented: “We’re extremely pleased to bring another case to justice as part of our ongoing battle to crack down on rogue landlords in Lincoln.
“This property was dangerous and as a council, we will not allow landlords to ignore their legal responsibilities, even if they refuse to engage with us. “We have a statutory duty to ensure HMO properties are compliant with standards, and this is with good reason.
“Most landlords have proactively applied for HMO licences or responded to reminders when the regulations changed in October last year, so it’s not fair to those who comply with the law and pay their licence fees.
“A big thank you to the council’s private housing and legal teams for bringing this case to justice.
“We want to ensure Lincoln is a safe place for everyone to call home.”