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Landlord fined for failing to maintain a property

Row of houses

An Oxford landlord has been fined £8,000 for letting one of his nine properties fall into disrepair.

Ken Herring pleaded guilty to four offences of failing to comply with regulations for a house of multiple occupation (HMO).

The court heard that the property in Salford Road, Oxford, had unmaintained fire escapes, unsafe carpet on a flight of stairs, inadequate light fittings and missing taps in the kitchen.

It also heard details of his two previous convictions for properties in Craufurd Road and Marston Road.

Mr Herring, of Horseman Close, Old Marston, was fined £2000 in relation to each offence. He was also ordered to pay £630 towards the Council's costs.

Councillor Joe McManners, Board Member for Housing Needs, says: "We are very pleased with the outcome. The magistrates ordered that he pay a significant fine for his offences.

"This sends a strong message to landlords that Oxford City Council will and does take action against landlords that do not comply with the regulations relating to houses in multiple occupation."

Mr Herring pleaded guilty when he appeared at Oxford Magistrates Court on Monday 28 November. He was fined a totally of £8,630 and ordered to pay £630 in costs.

Oxford City Council had previously taken control of a property in Salford Road, Marston which Mr Herring owned using an Interim Management Order under the Housing Act 2004 for the first time in Oxfordshire.

The property was taken over on Tuesday 28 June and the order last a maximum of a year. It makes the Council the landlord of the property and we have taken over the collection of rents and carrying out repairs. The landlord is however, entitled to receive whatever rent is left after the council has charged for its management and repair costs.

If the landlord is unable to arrange for a suitable licence holder the council has the power to issue a Final Management Order that lasts for five years.

Essential repairs will be carried out and a plan will be developed for longer term improvements if a suitable applicant for a HMO licence does not come forward.

Released on Thursday 1 December 2011

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