A landlord in Mansfield has been ordered to pay a £17,000 penalty after renting out a sub-standard and unlicensed HMO.
The landlord, who was investigated by Mansfield District Council officers after a complaint about alleged overcrowding, was found not to have a licence for their six-bedroom property.
The Nottinghamshire authority decided to pursue a civil penalty rather than a criminal prosecution in order to use the cash to help support its private sector housing team. The landlord can’t be identified as an agreed condition of them accepting the penalty.
This was the third civil penalty issued by the council against private landlords in the past three years. The others resulted in penalties of £4,787 and £12,900.
Councillor Anne Callaghan (main picture), portfolio holder for housing, says the case shows why the authority needs to be vigilant about standards in the private rental sector - especially when the need for housing is so high.
She adds that the cost of obtaining a five-year HMO licence - £724 - is a good deal less than any penalty they might have to pay for trying to circumvent the law.
“A strong market for rented accommodation can lead to landlords cutting corners on standards and fulfilling their legal obligations,” says Callaghan.
“I hope this case sends a message out to other private landlords in this district that if we find them acting unlawfully, we will not hesitate to take action against them.”