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Landlord fined £6,500 after member of public reports HMO

hmo fine

A landlord in Norfolk has been fined £6,500 after a significant investigation by local housing officers.

Broadland District Council in South Norfolk, which has chosen not to name the landlord involved, says the fine follows its discovery that a property in the village of Bloefield outside Norwich was being operated an HMO without a licence.

Last July a member of the public reported to the council that rooms above the village post office (main picture) were being used by ‘multiple people’.

The allegation stated the property was being occupied by occupants believed to be sharing bedrooms on a shift system to fit in with their work rotas.

Investigations

Over the next three months Council officers conducted in-depth investigations involving visits to the property to establish the numbers of occupiers, and to discover if the property was operating in a safe and ‘legally compliant manner’.

Following those investigations, the landlord was interviewed under caution to discuss the condition of the property and the fact that it had been allowed to operate as an HMO without the required licence, and in a manner that had put the occupant’s ‘health, safety and wellbeing at risk’.

“The Council has a proactive team identifying and enforcing against non-compliant HMOs,” says Broadland District Council Cabinet member, Councillor Natasha Harpley (pictured).

“While houses in multiple occupation form a vital part of the housing sector, the Council will not tolerate sub-standard accommodation putting the lives of residents at risk and we will take enforcement action as required to protect our residents.”

Since October 2018 HMO licencing in the area has covered properties rented by at least five people who are not from the same household. Landlords of these properties must apply for a £709 five-year licence to be compliant.

Read more about HMO fines.
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