A private landlord in Wrexham has been prosecuted by Wrexham Council for operating an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO).
At Mold Magistrates Court yesterday, landlord Jane Sabio – who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing – was fined £5,000, with costs of £1,697 and a £170 victim surcharge also imposed.
An officer from the council’s Environmental Health and Housing Standards team found the unlicensed HMO during an inspection following up on a complaint due to lack of repairs.
Letting agents Countrywide, trading as Beresford Adams, also pleaded guilty to a number of breaches at the same property, including inadequate fire safety measures and failing to supply an electrical safety certificate to Wrexham Council.
In sentencing at Wrexham Magistrates Court earlier this month, Countrywide was fined a total of £22,500, plus a £107 victim surcharge and £2,819 costs.
Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for communities, partnerships, public protection and community safety, said: “The council is proactively working with landlords and letting agents to assist them in raising standards for tenants.
“But if they choose not to cooperate and not to comply with the legal requirements, we will have no hesitation in taking firm enforcement action, as this case demonstrates.”
Wrexham Council say: “Most landlords and letting agents ensure HMOs are properly licensed and maintained, but if your landlord or letting agent fails to acquire an HMO licence or carry out the necessary repairs and make adequate fire safety arrangements, you can contact the Environmental Health and Housing Standards team by e-mail at HealthandHousing@wrexham.gov.uk or on 01978 292040.
“We keep a list of currently licensed HMOs on our website, and also provide information on what an HMO is, and how they can be licensed.”