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Hefty fine for landlord without HMO license

A landlord operating a House in Multiple Occupation without a licence has been fined £5,000.

An officer from Chesterfield council carried out an inspection at the property in November 2020 which confirmed the house was being operated as a licensable HMO, but the owner had not applied for a licence.

At Derby Magistrates Court the landlord, Andrew William Docherty of Brimington pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a licensable HMO without a licence under section 72(1) of the Housing Act 2004.

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Magistrates issued a fine of £5,000. Docherty was also ordered to pay the council’s costs of more than £1,000 and pay a victim surcharge of £190.

 

 

A Chesterfield council spokesperson says: “Our private sector housing team work to protect those living in the private housing sector. 

“We will take legal action against landlords and agents who let unlicensed HMOs or who rent properties that fall below the required standards. 

“This prosecution should be seen as a strong warning to landlords across the borough, that they must comply with the rules or face the consequences.”

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    £6190 penalty for one offence - but a letting Agent is only charged £2700 for evading TWO HMO licences elsewhere.

    We need some certainty that any serious breaches of the law will all be dealt with - and certainty that such evasion will be dealt with consistently.

    Decent landlords pay their dues whist rogue landlords and letting agents try to avoid them - and often succeed.

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