The landlord of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Coventry has been fined £60,000 for failing to obtain a license and adequately managing the property.
Coventry City Council, which issued the fine, has taken over management of the property on Monks Road, CV1, and has instructed the tenants to pay the rent to the local authority, rather than the landlord, who is still responsible for any mortgage payments.
Action was taken after a complaint from the HMO’s occupants that they had been left without gas or electricity.
Environmental health officers from the Property Licensing and Housing Enforcement team visited and found the property was operating as an unlicensed HMO.
Officers also discovered multiple breaches of the HMO Management Regulations.
A council scheme introduced citywide in 2020 requires all HMOs in Coventry to be licensed but despite being given several months the landlord of this property had failed to do.
Cllr David Welsh, cabinet member for housing and communities at Coventry City Council, said: “The making of this Interim Management Order sends a clear message to landlords – if you do not licence your property the council can and will use its powers to take over the running of your HMO.
“The level of the financial penalty notice highlights the severe punishments that can be levied to those who flout the law.
“These fines are then ring-fenced for use by the team to further their enforcement work.”
Adrian Chowns, property licensing and housing enforcement manager, added: “Our Officers have worked tirelessly in the city to promote the HMO licensing scheme and to ensure that where landlords abandon their duties and responsibilities, the team is ready to step in to protect tenants and use of the full range of enforcement powers at their disposal.”