In the first prosecution of its kind in the city, a landlord of unlawfully converted flats has been convicted of managing an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in a case heard before Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 11 April 2017.
Clive Balfour White, 49, of Vetch Place Oxford, was prosecuted after an Environmental Health Officer from Oxford City Council investigated a house that he owned on Moorbank in July 2016. The property was identified using data analysis of Council systems.
The visit identified four tenants living in two flats that did not have planning permission and did not comply with the safety requirements of building regulations. Mr White also failed to return a legal notice to the council requiring him to provide information about the property. He pleaded guilty to this, plus the management of an unlicensed HMO. He received fines for each offence of £250 and was ordered to pay surcharges and council costs of £480.
Patsy Dell, Head of Planning, Sustainable Development and Regulatory Services, said: “The law is catching up with rogue landlords who flout planning and building regulations and unlawfully sub-divide properties to maximise the rent. They are considered to be HMOs and require licensing so we can use our full range of powers to take action. This property has now been turned back into a house.”