Somerset Council has successfully prosecuted a Taunton landlord for breaching Housing laws.
Under the Housing Act 2004, landlords who rent out a property which houses five or more occupants, who share facilities, must apply to their local authority for a license.
A landlord routinely failed to licence eight properties in the Taunton area and has been prosecuted by the local authority. They pleaded guilty and will face a fine of £34,640.
Additionally, the court recently threw out a case where a landlord tried to serve an injunction on the former Somerset West and Taunton District Council (SWT) to prevent the authority undertaking its statutory duty to inspect a Taunton property.
The Council served enforcement notices on the landlord’s property which ordered them to make improvements as they were in breach of the Housing Act 2004. The landlord consequently tried to serve the injunction which the court did not support and was ordered to pay the Council £6,000.
Kim Lewington, Private Sector Housing & Environment Protection Manager, said:
We work closely with Somerset landlords and support them to meet their legal obligations.
However, we will not shy away from taking strong enforcement action and applying sanctions where they are needed.
The Council is satisfied with the outcome of these court cases and hopes it sends a strong message to deter other landlords from breaching their duties.
Somerset Council has a responsibility to protect tenants and ensure homes are safe, and the Council’s statutory duties allow it to take robust action when landlords are not adhering to the law.
The Council’s Private Sector Housing Team work to ensure residents live in homes that are safe, healthy and appropriate for their needs. Support and information is available at: www.somerset.gov.uk/housing-support.
Landlords can find out about the regulations for renting HMOs here: www.somerset.gov.uk/housing-support/hmo-standards-and-regulations.