Unlicensed landlord hit with £50k bill

Terraced houses

A Liverpool landlord has been hit with a fine of almost £50,000 for failing to license properties which were rented by students.

Trophy Homes Limited, based on Sandown Lane in Wavertree, failed to license nine properties, five of which were Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s).

They included homes on Scotland Road, Durning Road, Wellington Avenue and Clint Road West in the city.

At a hearing at Liverpool Magistrates Court on 27 February, District Judge Andrew Shaw described the company as a “profitable” outfit that was fully aware of both Landlord Licensing and the HMO Licensing Scheme.

He issued a fine of £5,000 property, plus the council’s costs of £3,500, bringing their total bill to £48,500.

The Government recently turned down an application for the city council to continue a city-wide scheme for another five years, and discussions are now under way around submitting a revised bid.

However, the HMO Licensing Scheme is a mandatory licensing scheme and properties now have to be licensed if they have five or more people living under one roof.

Since 2015, Liverpool City Council’s Private Sector Housing Team has carried out over 37,000 compliance actions, issued more than 2,500 legal and fixed penalty notices and prosecuted almost 250 landlords.

This has resulted in those falling foul of their legal obligations being fined approximately £385,000 following court proceedings, and approximately £250,000 in fines from Civil Penalty Notices.

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Lynnie Hinnigan, said: “Although we are reviewing the next steps regarding Landlord Licensing following the Government’s decision not to approve our scheme, it remains the case that ensuring HMO’s are licensed, fully compliant with their licence conditions and comply with all associated legislation remains a vital part of our functions as a regulator of housing standards across the city.

“We will continue to robustly enforce HMO licence conditions whilst simultaneously informing landlords of their responsibilities regarding the licensing of their properties.”

Information regarding the licensing of HMO properties can be found here