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Graham Awards


Labour council issues Fixed Penalty Notice on buy to let investor

Birmingham council has issued its first civil penalty against a House in Multiple Occupation landlord - and it says that move offers the hope “of bringing greater regulation to the sector.”

The landlord was ordered to pay £2,000 for failure to appropriately fit the property with fire safety measures. The property - which housed nine people - was also found to be operating without a license. 

While the new policy brings powers to issue fines of up to £30,000, mitigating factors can be taken into account by officers. In this instance, the immediate co-operation of the landlord with the investigation and the swift completion of the works to the property to a high standard meant that the fine was reduced.


There are roughly 6,000 HMO properties across the city, all of which are required to be licensed. 

However, to date only 1,900 have applied to the city council for a license.

A spokeswoman for the council says: “While there are a great many landlords who provide excellent accommodation, inevitably there are some who will only respond and make necessary improvements on threat of financial penalties or legal action. With that in mind, I’m delighted that the recent change in policy has improved our effectiveness and ultimately enabled us to take enforcement action against landlords who are letting substandard accommodation.”

  • S l
    • S l
    • 03 September 2019 10:56 AM

    I dont agree with the comment that landlord only do necessary improvements on threat of financial penalties or legal actions. THis is also mainly the fault of the council NOT making it WIDELY known to all that A LICENCE are required to operate HMO. The above case shows that majority of those who comply are mainly ignorant landlord jumping into the PRS venture and find themselves in trouble not because they intentionally ignore the law. More so due to lack of exposure and lack of information given by the council of the need for hmo licencing. Yet they are still being fine for their keen attitude to get it right. These landlord should not be fine or prosecute in the first place if they only found out about it because the council caught them and they comply immediately within reasonable time. This is classic case of abuse of power and raking in revenue base on others ignorance. How typical

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    This is yet another cash generating scheme for the Councils.
    They state only 1900 licences issued and 6000 HMO’s in the area.
    So why have they not engaged with the 6000 HMO’s directly if they “are aware of them”. it’s my guess these figure are plucked out of the sky anyway to sensationalise and show landlords in a bad light.
    There would be very few fines or money generated back to the council if they engaged correctly and a power where the fined amounts are given back to the LA is perverse.
    This gives the Councils an incentive to fine under their own powers no CPS, at disproportionate levels.

    The Council then trips out the statement that ignorance of the law is no excuse, covering their failure to engage.

    It should be a letter before action approach, not the abuse of powers now handed down for a self generating income stream.

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    I wonder how much Nottingham City Council are going to fine themselves as they have just announced that they have not inspected their own council houses & flat for more than EIGHT YEARS!!!!!!

    That is clearly an abuse of their powers & non compliance with their own licencing scheme!!!!! Smacks of one rule for them & one rule for private rented Landlords!!!!

    What is our Government Housing Minister going to do about this???


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