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Plymouth HMO landlord fined £20,000

A Plymouth landlord has been fined more than £20,000 after admitting renting out substandard houses to 30 people without obtaining a licence.

John Mayer pleaded guilty to four cases of failing to apply for a licence to operate a house in multiple occupation as required by the Housing Act 2004. He also failed to comply with improvement notices under the Housing Act 2004, meaning around 12 tenants did not have adequate heating in their accommodation.

Mayer was fined £23,000 in total and ordered to pay court costs of £1,554.38, at a rate of £2,000 per calendar month. Mayer pleaded guilty on 16 October but was sentenced on Friday 30 October.


Plymouth City Council prosecuted Mayer as part of its ongoing campaign to tackle rogue landlords.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, cabinet member for co-operatives and housing at Plymouth City Council, said: “We welcome this large fine, which sends a clear message that we will not tolerate rogue landlords here in Plymouth.

“We have some excellent landlords in Plymouth but cases like this bring landlords into disrepute.

“Our plan for private rented housing aims to drive up standards in rented housing in the city and this type of court case is just one of the tools we intend to use.”

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