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Landlord loses appeal against £35,000 licencing fine

hmo fine

A rogue landlord who was fined £34,640 for having eight unlicensed HMOs has failed in an attempt to have his conviction overturned.

Darren Jarman, 52, admitted breaching housing offences last year at Taunton Magistrates Court but appealed the conviction and sentence on the grounds that he didn’t believe the subsequent mandatory conditions which would have been imposed on a licence would be achievable.

However, a judge at Worle Crown Court has dismissed the appeal, saying it was clear that the landlord was operating eight HMOs without a licence, and continued to do so without a reasonable excuse.

The judge adjourned the next hearing until August so that Jarman’s financial situation can be fully investigated to ensure the sentence is proportionate.

The HMOs are in Holford Road (pictured), French Weir Avenue, Parmin Way, Bossington Drive, Salisbury Street, Grays Terrace and Lambrook Road, all in Taunton, and one in Gravelands Lane, Henlade.

Strong enforcement

Somerset Council says it works closely with landlords to support them to meet their legal obligations but does not shy away from taking strong enforcement action when landlords are not adhering to the law, and to apply sanctions where needed.

Kim Lewington (pictured), private sector housing & environment protection manager, adds: “The council is satisfied with the outcome of these court cases and hopes it sends a strong message to deter other landlords from breaching their duties.”

What is licencing - and do I need one as a landlord?


Hmo fines