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Landlord prosecuted and fined for operating unlicensed HMO

A landlord who has been operating a licensable HMO without a licence has been fined £5,000 at a prosecution brought by Chesterfield council. 

An officer from the council’s private sector housing team 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 a hearing held shortly before Christmas at Derby Magistrates Court, landlord Andrew William Docherty pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a licensable HMO without a licence under section 72(1) of the Housing Act 2004.


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



Councillor Chris Ludlow, Chesterfield council’s cabinet member for housing, 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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