A landlord has been fined £7,500 for letting an unlicensed HMO.
Having ignored numerous requests and failing to renew the St Helen’s council licence, the landlord was issued with a penalty charge fee of £7,500.
Housing officers were supported by Merseyside Police during the course of this enforcement action.
The council has a HMO licensing scheme which requires landlords who let their properties to five or more tenants from different households to hold a licence.
In addition to a fine, landlords who fail to licence their properties can be issued with a Rent Repayment Order which requires them to return up to 12 months' worth of rent to tenants.
The council says it will support any tenant who wishes to refer themselves to a tenancy advocacy organisation to help them to apply.
A council spokesperson says: “This case shows that we will take action against landlords who flout the rules. Anyone letting a house as a HMO that should have a licence must be aware that we will enforce action against them if they persistently dodge their responsibilities.
"Too often renters feel powerless and that is why licences matter. They set basic expectations and give renters much stronger rights. We are determined to raise standards in private rented homes and licensing enforcement is key to making it happen."
St Helens police inspector Rob Budden says: "Although it is the responsibility of the local authority to deal with licensing issues around HMO's we will continue to work with them and support them in taking any necessary enforcement action against landlords for the benefit of the whole community."
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