With recent changes to HMO licensing laws (see our blogs of 13 October and 26 October), and the growth we at UKinsuranceNET are seeing in this area from landlords converting larger buy to lets into HMO’s, now is a timely reminder for you not to overlook your legal obligations.
Two recent news articles highlight how important it is for landlords to make sure they comply with HMO legislation – failure to do so could see you face substantial fines.
Nearly £6,000 in costs for a Hasting landlord
The first news story is of a Hastings-based landlord who has pleaded guilty for failing to comply with licence conditions at an HMO. She was fined £5,250 as well as needing to find an additional £682 in costs.
The landlord was charged with seven offences which included:
- the emergency lighting system not being maintained;
- no adequate escape routes from the property;
- the communal parts of the property being poorly maintained.
Scarborough landlord fined £42,000 for HMO licensing breaches
In a second recent news story, another landlord has been fined £24,000 after being found guilty of 18 offences relating to poor management of an HMO property he owns in Scarborough. He was also ordered to pay a further £18,000 in costs to the council. The offences included:
- not maintaining the electrics within the building and allowing dangerous live wires to be exposed in the common areas;
- fire safety breaches;
- failure to tackle problems with penetrating damp within the building.
The message here is clear – HMO licencing laws are there for a purpose, so make sure you fully understand what the laws involve and that you comply.