Three landlords of Leeds houses have paid a heavy price for recklessly disregarding the safety of tenants this month as the council continues to crack down on rogue renters.
In a series of prosecutions by Leeds City Council in November, three landlords were fined for breaching housing laws governing safety in HMOs (houses in multiple occupation).
Allowing the over-occupying of his house in Regent Park Avenue, Hyde Park, resulted in a fine of £16,000 for M Ratyal of Nab Lane, Shipley, which also took into account his failure to provide fire safety measures under his HMO licence requirements.
Leeds landlord Philip Jupe of Lilac Court, Killingbeck, was fined £10,000 for avoiding licensing his HMO in spite of having licensed a similar property on the same street in Burchett Place, Woodhouse.
Safety breaches which led to a fire also meant a fine and costs of £1,050 for Roy Fidler of Eldertree Road, Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham, who was found guilty of mismanagement of his HMO on Meanwood Road, Leeds. No injuries or damage were caused by the fire and the house has since been sold.
Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities for Leeds City Council, said:
“These fines give a clear signal to landlords that we take safety in HMOs very seriously and that magistrates will not hesitate to issue appropriate fines. It is totally unacceptable to have such casual disregard for the safety of people to whom you have a direct responsibility as a landlord.
“I would strongly advise every landlord of HMOs in the Leeds area to check our public register to see when their existing licence expires as we will not hesitate to take formal action if they are not fully up to date.”
The council’s HMO Licensing Team already has applications for the reissue of 2,700 expiring licences due in the New Year. If landlords fail to submit an application form for renewal and their licence expires, they will be liable for formal action.
The Government is also proposing to extend mandatory licensing to include two-storey properties and landlords are being asked to give their opinion on this before December 16. The consultation document can be found at this link: House in multiple occupation and residential property licensing reforms