A rogue landlord has been fined for failing to correctly licence and maintain a property on Cemetery Road in Beeston – and is now nearly £8,000 out of pocket.
Earlier this year the council undertook visits to potentially unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) on Cemetery Road, Beeston. One of the unlicensed properties visited was owned by Mary Conlon of Sefton Avenue, Leeds 11. A licence had been issued in November 2012 but had expired in July 2017.
A property must be licensed if it is three storeys or more and has five or more tenants sharing facilities.
The visit to Conlan’s property revealed a three storey house which was being occupied by seven tenants sharing facilities, meaning that it was operating unlawfully without a licence.
The visit also revealed levels of management neglect including a filthy bathroom, defective electrics, and dangerous old floor coverings to steps, obstructed routes of escape, and a lack of cleaning and maintenance to the yards. In addition, the house’s electrical systems had not been tested in over 10 years and was only done so as a result of the intervention by the council’s ‘Rogue Landlord Unit’, part of the Private Sector Housing Team.
She was ordered to review all 17 of her properties and ensure they are in a satisfactory condition.
She was fined £6,554 and ordered to pay costs of £1,155 to the council and a victim surcharge of £120.
The magistrates set a collection order and the sum was agreed to be paid in 28 days.
Leeds City Council publish a list of live HMO licences and details of when they expire. Landlords and agents can check this list at https://www.leeds.gov.uk/business/privately-rented-property/register-of-hmo-licences to make sure they are complying with the law.
Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities said:
“Not only was this property unlicensed, but the landlord has consistently failed to act proactively in her management of the property and in her duty to protect her tenants from harm. There is a wide range of help and support available for landlords to ensure they fully understand the rules and regulations that keep them and their tenants safe. We refuse to stand by when standards fall below the expected and required level and we are dedicated to ensuring the safety and welfare of all tenants in Leeds.”