Unlicensed HMO landlord fined nearly £18,000

Published: Tuesday, 22nd December 2015

An Oxford landlord was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,692 for renting out four unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO) when he appeared before Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Mr Andrew Coyle of Daisy Bank Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was prosecuted after council officers visited his properties in June last year and found that he owned and managed four HMOs.

The 52 year-old owned one property each in Meyseys Close and Troy Close and another two in Elton Close.

All four properties were unlicensed while two of them also failed to comply with fire safety and management information requirements.

During their inspection visit, council officers found between four and five unrelated professional tenants living in each house. At Meyseys Close and one of the Elton Close properties, the fire protection measures were inadequate as there were missing fire doors. The property manager’s details were also not provided, which is against HMO management regulations.

Apart from his £15,000 fine, Mr Coyle was also told to pay surcharges and the Council’s full costs totalling £2692 for bringing the case to court.

Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council, said: “This is a significant conviction of a portfolio landlord by the City Council and it sends out a strong message that we will investigate and prosecute landlords whose properties are unlicensed or do not meet the required management standards.

"Oxford City Council's pioneering licensing scheme has successfully raised standards in the growing private rental sector and we aim to identify all remaining properties where landlords are seeking to avoid detection and bring their properties up to scratch.”