A landlord has received a fine totalling £11,900 for operating two unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in the Bedford area after being prosecuted by Bedford Borough Council.
The landlord, Patrick Mullen of 87 Castle Road, Bedford, was ordered to attend Luton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, August 12.
He was charged with failing to licence two properties he owns and rents out to tenants. The first property at 41 Conduit Road went unlicensed for three years, whilst the second property at 1 St Michael’s Road went unlicensed for 18 months.
The Court heard that Mr Mullen had been reminded by the Council’s Regulatory Services Team that he was required to licence the properties under the Housing Act 2004.
However he failed to act on the advice given, potentially putting the safety of the tenants at risk and showing wilful neglect of his responsibilities as a landlord.
As a result, the Court imposed a fine of £6,000 in respect of 41 Conduit Road and £4,000 in respect of St. Michael’s Road, additionally he was ordered to pay the Council’s full costs of £1,300 along with a victim surcharge of £600.
Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services said: “The Council did all it possibly could to work with the landlord in order to secure the safety of the properties and its tenants, by ensuring the properties were licensed in accordance with the law.
“Bedford has a significant private rented sector with many shared flats and housing which should not risk the safety of residents. In support of this, we have implemented a scheme of Additional HMO Licensing across the Borough to protect residents and drive up standards. We take the safety of residents seriously and will ensure they are protected from rogue landlords who blatantly disregard their legal duties. Failure to properly manage housing in the private rented sector can be all too common and will not be tolerated in Bedford.”
Landlords or tenants requiring further information or clarification regarding HMO Licensing requirements should contact the HMO Licensing Team on 01234 718099 or refer to the Council’s website at: http://www.bedford.gov.uk/housing/houses_in_multiple_occupation.aspx