Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Rogue managing agent fined over £2,000

24 June 2019

A council crackdown about new government rules to do with shared housing has seen a managing agent successfully convicted for failing to properly license his property.

Mr Leon Hill, 47, of Derwent Road in Leighton Buzzard, pleaded guilty at Luton Magistrates Court on 18 June 2019.

Mr Hill, who is the director of Squares Letting Agent, failed to licence a House of Multiple Occupation in Wellington Way in Leighton Buzzard, despite a number of requests from council officers.

A House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property that has more than one household living in it and sharing the toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.

With new powers from government, we're tackling rogue landlords flouting the rules in the private rented sector. The managing agent, Mr Leon Hill received a fine of £866, our costs of £1,102 and a victim surcharge of £86 resulting in total fine of £2,054.

The Housing Act 2004 introduced licensing of HMOs to protect often vulnerable people from risks such as overcrowding and fire that can be greater than with other types of accommodation.

Councillor Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Adults, Social Care, Housing Operations and Customer Services, said: "We know that most private rented sector landlords provide decent and well managed accommodation, but there are a small number of rogue landlords and property agents who knowingly flout their legal obligations and rent out accommodation which is substandard – often to vulnerable tenants. This is unacceptable.

"We want people to understand that landlords of HMOs who fail to apply for a licence will be committing an offence which may result in a prosecution, criminal conviction, their name being added to the national Rogue Landlord Database and a large fine.”

If you have a property which requires a House in Multiple Occupation Licence please contact our Private Sector Housing team on 0300 300 8767 or by email psh@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

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