A landlord has been handed fines totalling £3,250 and costs of £1,426 for running an unlicensed and unsafe House in Multiple Occupation.
Mohammed Waqas Anwar of Kidlington, near Oxford, has been prosecuted after the city council's environmental health officers discovered his HMO was unlicensed and failed to comply with fire safety and other requirements.
When the officers visited the property in November last year they found four occupants living in the house, which had broken smoke alarms, a missing fire door and locks on doors that could stop occupants escaping in the event of a fire.
The house was in poor repair with damaged bathroom tiles, a filthy shower and mouldy walls.
Anwar pleaded guilty to being in control of an unlicensed HMO and received a fine of £2,000 for failing to obtain a licence. He also pleaded guilty to five breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and received a separate fine of £1,250. In addition, the magistrates ordered Mr Anwar to pay the Council’s full costs of £1,426 for bringing the case to court.
Oxford council has now prosecuted 11 HMO landlords this year alone; the authority says it is now planning to extend the duration of its current licensing regime by another five years.