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HMO license failure leads to five figure fine for landlord

A landlord has been hit with an £11,800 fine for operating an HMO without a licence.

Stoke-on-Trent council launched an investigation into landlord Lee Challinor in 2022 after receiving a complaint from a tenant who was living in the property.

Following numerous visits, council officers found that the property was in a poor condition. 

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The bathrooms failed to meet minimum standards and there was evidence of a fly infestation in the property, together with a build-up of waste and sludge in the backyard.

The council determined Challinor had been operating a licencable HMO without a licence and breached a number of management regulations.

After pleading guilty to the charges, he received an £11,800 fine for both offences.

During the court hearing at Newcastle Magistrates Court, Challinor was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a £195 victim surcharge.

Councillor Chris Robinson, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and planning, says: “We work closely with private landlords in the city to ensure that their properties meet the minimum quality standards and ensure that they are operating within the law.

“When we do receive complaints, we take them extremely seriously and do not hesitate to take action. Bad landlords wreck lives and we are committed to putting a stop to that.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case and hopes it serves as a reminder to private landlords operating in Stoke-on-Trent of their responsibilities to provide safe, quality homes.”

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    The outcome is financial for the landlord and rightly so, but there is no mention of whether he now has a licence, fixed the problems etc and has safe and happy tenants. Is it always about money with councils?

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    Yes, half a story as usual.

     
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    So the ‘victim’ who started the complaint gets £195 out of the share!
    Sounds like a sharecroppers end of the deal from 150 yrs back. The councils are the biggest hypocrites in all of this

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    Sounds like someone who stood up for themselves.. Would you live in those conditions so stop spouting rubbish.
    That landlord deserves what he got. Maybe your against tenants standing up for themselves.

     
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    The victim didn’t get anything. The victim surcharge goes to the government, something else for SBR to whinge about.

     
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    Tenant can now apply for their share of the rent back via an RRO... which could run into the 1000s

     
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    Jahan Khan do grow up.

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    Sandra Bowes-Rennox, Do go away!

     
    Richard LeFrak

    Sandy B, why all the anger...? Come on lets hug it out.

    Do not take it out on poor Jahan, he makes some valid contributions on here and a valued member. I do not see him getting angry, just calm down and get a green tea!

     
  • Nic  Kaz

    Landlords get a bad reputation because of owners like this. They should not be referred to as landlords because they deliberately flout our property laws so should be called crooks. Perhaps if a distinction were made, then the tenant/landlord symbiotic relationship could be valued, instead of always being in opposite corners of the ring.

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    waste in the back yard, so did the landlord dump it there or more likely the tenants hence the flies, sounds to me like the landlord was the victim here

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    If the idiot had a license he would have been liable for waste disposal anyway given HMO man.regs place onus on LL or agent...

     
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    To SBR and your mate Doingthis - all of this stuff is utterly predictable. The state has abused it's power to negatively target a specific sector, the PRS, in particular the small to medium sized portfolio landlords. Said landlords are exiting or consolidating and inconveniently for govt they count for a large proportion of the PRS. Hence we have a large void and as always, that will be filled by criminal landlords who will happily supply grotty housing as they can get away with it and laugh at the authorities. Think prohibition in the USA in the 20's - the biggest winners were Al Capone and Co.
    Or politicians are just too dim to recognise what they have caused. Unfortunately they are continuing their course of destruction so we'll be seeing more of this.

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