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Landlord ordered to pay £14,500 for unlicensed HMO

A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay £14,500 for illegally renting out an overcrowded House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a licence in Evesham, Worcestershire.

The landlord was issued with four civil penalty notices by Wychavon District Council after officers found 11 people occupying the property.

It is the first time Wychavon, which did not name the landlord, has used this method of enforcement since civil penalties were introduced last year.

A number of hazards were also discovered within the property, including poor internal layout, poorly working fire alarms, no fire doors or compartmentation, while there was no working oven in the kitchen.

The council has now instructed the landlord, who was receiving just over £800 a week in rent for the unlicensed property, to fix these issues or face further punishment.

Cllr Christopher Day, the council’s executive board member for housing, health and wellbeing, commented: “Landlords like this are taking advantage of vulnerable people who have a lack of knowledge of the legislation surrounding renting in the UK.

“We hope this serves as a clear warning that we are cracking down on illegal HMOs in the area and there will be severe consequences for not abiding by the law.”

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