17 Dec 2020

A landlord has been fined £10,000 by her local council for failing to licence a HMO.

Tracey Davies of Bath was found guilty in her absence when the case came before magistrates in the city.

The local authority – which says it was “acting on information received that the property was likely to be operating as an illegal HMO” – was inspected back in February of last year. 

The property concerned was a five storey building with 10 bedrooms with a shared kitchen, living/dining room and a shower room with WC. 

The council says “Officers found the property to be in a poor condition” but gives no details of what these were and interestingly there is no prosecution for these alleged conditions.

The court has fined Davies £10,000; she was also ordered to pay the prosecution costs of £3,850 and a victim surcharge of £190.

A council spokesman says: “This prosecution sends a clear message to landlords of HMOs that they must comply with their legal responsibilities. We work hard to ensure that properties in Bath are safe and fit for purpose for the number of people living in them.”

The truth is more that property licensing is a tax and HMO Landlords ALWAYS face fines of this level if they have files to pay this tax.   Any landlord of an HMO which should be licensed, but isn’t, should urgently contact Landlord Licensing & Defence for professional representation instead of contacting the council which will only self-incriminate themselves ready for prosecution. 

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