An Oxford landlord has been issued a financial penalty of £15,624 for controlling an unsafe House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in the Cowley area of Oxford.

The East Oxford-based landlord, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was investigated after environmental health officers from Oxford City Council visited a rented property on Kames Close in August 2017. The house was found to be an unlicensed HMO as five unrelated tenants were living in the property.

The fire escape in the house was obstructed with furniture and two of the three fire alarms were broken. Also the stairs were not fire-protected and there was no fire door on the kitchen. New legal powers were given to English local authorities in April 2017 allowing them to issue fines directly to offending landlords and a financial penalty of £15,624 was issued in this case.

Ian Wright, Environmental Health Service Manager, said: “The Council is committed to clamping down on landlords who do not comply with housing regulations, often putting the health and safety of their tenants at risk. Since April last year, we’ve been able to use new powers to issue civil penalties of up to £30,000 where landlords are not taking their responsibilities seriously. We believe these measures are having a positive impact in deterring landlords from flouting the rules and putting people in the private rented sector at risk.”

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