Last year, Somerset Council successfully prosecuted a Taunton landlord for breaching Housing laws by failing to licence their various properties. Read the story here: Council’s success in legal action on rogue landlords (

The landlord since appealed their conviction and sentence, but earlier this month at Worle Crown Court, a judge dismissed the appeal.

In a statement, the Judge was clear that the landlord was operating eight Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) properties without a licence, and continues to do so without a reasonable excuse, therefore the guilty conviction is valid and stands.

The Judge adjourned the Crown Court to August for another hearing to review the sentence imposed at the Magistrates court, so they can fully investigate the landlord’s financial situation to ensure the sentence is proportionate.

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: Housing and homelessness (

Landlords can find out about the regulations for renting HMO here: HMO Standards and Regulations (

The gold coloured statue of Lady Justice, holding a sword and scales, on top of the dome of the Old Bailey, England's criminal court in the City of London.

About this article

June 21, 2024

Jade Chant


Press Release