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Unlicensed landlord ordered to pay almost £7K

Action from Hertsmere Borough Council has left a landlord with a bill of close to £7,000 for letting an unlicensed property in Potters Bar.

Appearing at St Albans Magistrates Court last week, the landlord, Andrew Harvey, was fined £5,542 and ordered to pay £1,319.29 in costs, plus a £125 victim surcharge, after being found guilty of operating a licensable house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a licence in Oakfield Close from March 2012 until June 2017.

The court was told that Harvey, 50, of Manchester Close in Stevenage, failed to respond to several emails and correspondence from the borough council over the five years.

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When an inspection of the property took place in June, the council’s private sector housing officer discovered five veterinary students living in the property.

Cllr. Jean Heywood, portfolio holder for housing, said: “Everybody has a right to live in decent accommodation, and the council takes its responsibilities to enforce basic living standards very seriously.

“As a landlord, you are responsible for the welfare of your tenants and there are strict rules in place to ensure certain conditions and duties are met. This is for the protection of all.

“The vast majority of landlords are happy to work with us to ensure they are managing their properties and looking after their tenants according to the letter of law.

“However, we will not hesitate to take other landlords who deliberately fail in their duties to court, where they could receive unlimited fines.”

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