A landlord has been fined £500 and ordered to pay £679 costs to Herefordshire Council after tenants were found to be living at 16 St James Road in Hereford without a licence as a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
There are an increasing number of houses in multiple occupation in Herefordshire, which can also include self-contained flats. The property was found during a routine inspection in September last year by Herefordshire Council’s environmental health officers. On 29 June, Hereford Magistrates found the landlord, Mr Richard Chambers, guilty of an offence of failing to licence an HMO under the Housing Act 2004.
Charles Yarnold, Environmental Health Service Manager, said:
“While we support good landlords and welcome the living accommodation they provide, we will not tolerate the minority that consider they do not need a licence of feel they are above the law. Today’s verdict demonstrates that the courts will not tolerate landlords who continue to put their tenants at risk.”
Herefordshire Council environmental health officers inspect rented accommodation and investigate complaints to ensure that the rented sector provide safe and healthy housing for their tenants.
Occupiers should confirm that their landlord or management company carry out regular checks and maintenance of fire precautions such as fire alarms, emergency lighting and fire doors. Where this is not the case, Herefordshire Council’s environmental health housing team can help by requiring the necessary repair or improvement works.