Landlord fined for unlicensed house and poor standards

A High Wycombe landlord who was letting out an unlicensed property which was also in need of repair has been fined £4,983 and ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £166 – a total of £5,649.

 

On Wednesday 4 March Mr Mohammed Gulistan, 60, of Oakridge Road, High Wycombe, pleaded guilty to eight charges put before Wycombe Magistrates’ Court:

  • failure to licence a house in multiple occupation (HMO)
  • seven breaches of The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 relating to conditions.

 

The breaches were:

  • failure to display the name, address and telephone number of the manager in a prominent position within the property
  • failure to replace the missing handle to the kitchen window
  • failure to provide locks to the doors of all letting rooms which can be operated from within the room without a key
  • failure to provide adequate fire protection to the loft hatch and cupboard beneath the stairs which housed the utility meters and consumer unit
  • failure to replace the missing external door handle
  • failure to repair a large hole to the external kitchen wall
  • failure to maintain the garden in a safe and tidy condition.

 

Mr Gulistan came to the attention of Wycombe District Council as the owner of an unlicensed HMO in June 2019, when he was asked to apply for a licence which he did.

 

Cllr Julia Langley, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This is our second successful prosecution in the past month for unlicensed and unsafe HMOs, and we won’t hesitate to take legal action when a landlord flouts the rules like this.

 

“Unlicensed HMOs often have some of the worst housing conditions in the district and often house some of the most vulnerable in our society.

 

“We suspect there are still a number of unlicensed HMOs within the district and so we welcome and act on all intelligence.”

 

Landlords and managers are welcome at any time to ask for advice about licensing or works required in HMOs by emailing HMOlicensing@wycombe.gov.uk or by calling 01494 421777.

 

Wycombe District Council undertakes high profile, proactive street-by-street action to identify HMOs. The enforcement team were out again on Thursday 5 March to close the net on rogue landlords, identifying further unlicensed premises and ensuring safe conditions for tenants. [pic supplied]

 

Anyone suspecting an unlicensed HMO can report it to HMOlicensing@wycombe.gov.uk or call 01494 421777.

 

Legislation came into place on 1 October 2018 requiring all HMOs with five or more occupants living as two or more households to have a licence. The change was widely publicised in national media and by landlord associations.