A Skegness landlord has pleaded guilty to operating a property at 34 Grosvenor Road, Skegness, as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) without the required licence.
In January 2013 Officers from East Lindsey District Council visited the property and discovered it was operating as a HMO. Although the property met the licensing criteria and required licencing under the Housing Act 2004, the joint owners Mr and Mrs Vincent had failed to contact the council to apply for the required licence.
The inspection also found serious issues with the three storey property with regard to lack of fire precautions, putting numerous tenants lives at risk. Due to the ‘imminent risk of serious harm’ to the occupiers of the property the council served an Emergency Prohibition Order that required the tenants to leave the property immediately, and prevented the owners from allowing anyone to move into the property until improvements had been carried out.
Failing to apply for a licence for a HMO which meets the licensing criteria is a criminal offence and the council prosecuted Mr Vincent, on August 2, 2013 at Skegness Magistrates’ Court, where he pleaded guilty to the offence and was fined £4,500 In addition he was ordered to pay costs of £1,950.
Although this is the first prosecution of this type by ELDC, officers are proactively checking for properties operating in this manner, and action will be taken against landlords found to be operating illegally.
Any landlord that is unsure if their HMO requires a licence, can contact the Council’s Housing Standards team on 01507 601111.