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Rogue landlord fined for appalling conditions in HMO

Housing in the private sector

18 October 2022

Bedside lamp with its cable balanced precariously across a door  next to an image of a ceiling collapse over a shower revealing rotten woodwork behind.

The owner of a property in Ivy Road, Northampton has paid a £12,400 civil penalty after failing to license their home in multiple occupation (HMO).

In March 2022 officers from West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) Private Sector Housing Team attended the property under a Housing Warrant following complaints from the public.

The inspection found that the three-bedroom property was being occupied by four people from four separate households. This made the property a licensable HMO under the Council’s Additional Licensing regime.

Cllr Adam Brown, WNC’s Cabinet Member for housing, culture and leisure said: “From some of the images captured at this address, it is clear the landlord had little regard for the safety of their tenants.

"The complaints from the public also make it obvious that there was a distinct lack of respect for their neighbours and the local community.

"The Housing Team cannot visit every property, but this case demonstrates that we will take action when members of the public contact us with their concerns."

The inspection also identified offences under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 relating to the provision of information regarding the landlord or properties, maintenance of means of escape from fire, and maintenance of communal living areas.

The conditions found during the inspection were determined to be so hazardous, an Emergency Prohibition Order was served declaring the property unsuitable for habitation.

For more information, visit the WNC webpage on HMOs.

In June WNC launched a review of HMOs in Northampton which has seen the council engage with stakeholders to analyse current policies concerning HMOs while also identifying ways to apply best practice from elsewhere in the country.

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