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Landlord to pay out nearly £40k after houses in multiple occupation breaches

June 10 2014

A landlord has been ordered to pay almost £40,000 in fines and legal costs after admitting failing to obtain a licence for shared houses he rented out.

Fifty-six-year-old Harishbhai Rambhai Patel was prosecuted by Leicester City Council for failing to license three houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Patel, of Southernhay Road, Leicester, admitted to 12 offences under the Housing Act 2004 relating to the three unlicensed houses in the Highfields area – two at 9 and 11 Evington Street, and one at 18 Gopsall Street.

On 30th May, magistrates fined the defendant £10,000 for each of the three houses and he
was also fined £500 for failing to produce the necessary documents.

A report by the Leicester Mercury revealed that Patel was also forced to pay £4,000 for eight breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.

The council’s environmental health officers visited Patel’s properties after a fire at 11 Evington Street in May 2013.

Neither property in the street was found to meet fire safety standards.

A visit to the Gopsall Street property the following September revealed a faulty fire detection system, damaged fire doors, torn carpets, cracked plaster and broken windows. Ten people were living in the house at the time.

The defendant landlord has since carried out the repairs to bring the house up the right standard and has applied to license the house. The other properties remain empty following the fire.

Coun Sarah Russell, Leicester assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services, said: “Proper licensing for HMOs is there to ensure the safety of residents, and landlords who fail to do so are putting tenants at risk.

“As this case shows, landlords face prosecution and heavy fines if they fail to comply with the laws which have been put in place for good reason to ensure that multiple-occupancy homes are in a fit state.”

The defendant was ordered to pay £4,124.15 in legal costs, along with a £120 victim surcharge bringing the total he was ordered to pay to £38,744.15.