Landlords in Bath were successfully prosecuted by Bath and North East Somerset Council this week following inspections of three unlicensed HMO (House in Multiple Occupancy) properties, which revealed a number of licensing and health and safety violations.
Across the three properties, inspectors uncovered damp and mould problems, dangerous electrics, insufficient or no fire precautions, insufficient or no heating, trip and fall hazards, and general disrepair. One of the properties was deemed to be so dangerous that the emergency services issued an order prohibiting anyone from sleeping in it. Each of the properties was also found to be an illegal HMO.
The landlords of the three properties were each charged with two separate counts; failure to licence an HMO, and failure to adequately manage one. Alongside costs, the combined fines amounted to £16,500.
Whilst two of the properties were visited due to the concerns raised either by neighbours or by council employees, one of the illegal HMOs was uncovered as a result of a routine inspection.
The importance of licensing an HMO property
It is imperative that landlords correctly licence HMO properties and ensure the safety of their tenants. For tips on HMO property management or to obtain a specialist mortgage for an HMO property visit our HMO page. To find out if your property is an HMO, you can use the free tool provided by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA): Do I need an HMO license?