Two managing agents, who own and manage properties in Hatfield, were ordered to pay a total of £42,534 in fines after pleading guilty to 46 offences at St Albans Magistrates' Court on Wednesday 17 June.
Odus Ltd, based in Hatfield, admitted 41 management regulation offences relating to fire safety contraventions and disrepair issues on four properties. It was fined £17,600 and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council was awarded £17,424 in costs.
St Albans-based XS Property Management and Maintenance Ltd admitted five offences, including failure to license a HMO and not complying with fire safety regulations. It was fined £4,300 and the council was awarded £3,210.12 in costs.
This is the first time Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has prosecuted multiple managing agents and is part of a series of prosecutions aiming to crack down on poor management practices.
Councillor Mandy Perkins, executive member for planning, housing and community, said: "We are very pleased with this outcome; it is proof that we will not tolerate managing agents in our borough who compromise the safety of their tenants, particularly relating to fire safety issues.
"We hugely value the contribution that good quality rented accommodation makes to the local housing market, but we hope this sends a clear signal to managing agents that they must comply with the law.
"I would urge residents to protect themselves by checking their managing agent or landlord is PAL accredited. This is a council-run scheme, which strives to ensure that accredited managing agents meet their legal obligations."
The Partnership Accreditation for Landlords (PAL) scheme recognises landlords and agents who meet their legal obligations but now also includes a 'gold' standard for those who go above and beyond to provide quality homes.
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