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Landlord fined after Gangmasters authority investigates rental property

A landlord has been convicted and ordered to pay more than £11,500 in fines and legal costs for the offence of failing to license a House in Multiple Occupation.

Martyn Williams of Needham Market is the owner of the property investigated by Ipswich council following complaints by neighbours and information from another council. 

This led to Ipswich council, together with both the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority as well as Suffolk Constabulary entering the property with a warrant in February 2020.

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They found the property was being occupied by 12 people despite there not being an HMO license; people were sleeping in an under-stairs cupboard that also had the electrical distribution board; no no fire alarm system or fire safety measures and a key would be needed to leave the property; and a significant amount of disrepair to the property was discovered, including serious electrical defects.

Williams entered a guilty plea for the offence of failing to license the HMO. 

 

He was fined £4,000 - a sum the council says the reduced due to his guilty plea - and he was also ordered to pay costs of £7,596.

An Ipswich council spokesman says: “HMOs must be licensed to both help better ensure the safety and comfort of residents as well as the impact of the property on the area. Failure to licence an HMO is an offence. This will be met with enforcement action which can result in a criminal conviction.”

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