In a prosecution taken by Oxford City Council, the landlord of an unlicensed HMO was ordered to pay fines of £9,390 and costs of £1,745.
Mr Kazi Arafat Ahmed who is 28 and lives on Barn Close, Oxford, was prosecuted after an environmental health officer from Oxford City Council investigated a house that he managed on Brook View in July 2015. That visit identified four tenants living in a high-risk unlicensed HMO, with no working smoke alarms or a fire door, and four others defects in the house, such as a lack of heat alarm in the kitchen, and poorly maintained or broken fixtures.
At court Mr Ahmed pleaded guilty to managing an unlicensed HMO and six breaches of the HMO management regulations on 7 June. He claimed that he was “unaware he needed an HMO licence” .Compulsory licensing of HMOs properties was introduced in 2011. It means anyone renting properties to groups of three or more unrelated tenants must have a licence, undergo periodic inspections and pay an application fee of at least £400.
The Leader of Oxford City Council, Cllr Bob Price said: “This case is another example of deplorable conditions in HMOs that are life-threatening and illegal. We will continue to prosecute irresponsible landlords to ensure multiple-occupancy houses are fully licensed and safe. The HMO registration scheme has been very successful in ensuring properties are managed properly and that problems are dealt with.”
This is the 8th case this year where Oxford City Council has prosecuted a landlord for HMO offences.
More information on HMOs is available here.