Oxford HMO landlord fined £7000 for housing offences

Published: Tuesday, 19th September 2017

In two legal cases taken by Oxford City Council a landlord has been fined a total of £7,298 for operating an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Oxford that was home to three people with disabilities.

William Stephen Rielly of Rochfords Gardens, Slough was prosecuted after environmental health officers from Oxford City Council investigated a house that he owned at Nowell Road. A visit in September 2016 identified three unrelated tenants all of whom were people with disabilities and living in a high-risk unlicensed HMO. The house had no smoke alarms or kitchen fire door and there were seven other defects identified.

The council made a claim to the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber (Residential Property) to recover housing benefit money Mr Rielly had received while managing the HMO on behalf of the tenants. On 11 September 2017 that tribunal ordered him to pay back £5,798 of housing benefit to the council.

Additionally, in an earlier legal action at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 4 April 2017, Mr Rielly pleaded guilty to managing an unlicensed HMO and failing in his duty to comply with two fire safety measures. He received fines totalling £1,500 and was ordered to pay council costs of £1,000.