HMO landlord hit with a £60k fine by Coventry council - The Coventry Observer

HMO landlord hit with a £60k fine by Coventry council

Coventry Editorial 14th Oct, 2022   0

THE LANDLORD of a poorly managed and unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Monks Road has been fined around £60,000 by Coventry City Council which has taken over management of the property.

Action was taken after a complaint from the HMO’s occupants that they had been left without gas or electricity.

Environmental health officers from the Property Licensing and Housing Enforcement team visited and found the property was operating as an HMO without a licence.

Officers also discovered multiple breaches of the HMO Management Regulations.

A council scheme introduced citywide in 2020 requires all HMOs in Coventry to be licensed but despite being given several months the landlord of this property had failed to do.

The council has to take over the management of an HMO by making an interim management order if there is no reasonable prospect of the property being licensed in the near future.

The order means the occupants have to pay their rent to the council, with the landlord still responsible for any mortgage payments.

The council then ensures the occupants’ health and well-being are protected and the day-to-day management is improved from this rent.

This is the first interim management order made by the council.

The HMOs management is now in the hands of the Housing and Homelessness team.

Coun David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “The making of this Interim Management Order sends a clear message to landlords – if you do not licence your property the council can and will use its powers to take over the running of your HMO.

“The level of the financial penalty notice highlights the severe punishments that can be levied to those who flout the law.

“These fines are then ring-fenced for use by the team to further their enforcement work.”

Adrian Chowns, Property Licensing and Housing Enforcement Manager, added: “Our Officers have worked tirelessly in the city to promote the HMO licensing scheme and to ensure that where landlords abandon their duties and responsibilities, the team is ready to step in to protect tenants and use of the full range of enforcement powers at their disposal.”

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