unlicensed HMO
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A landlord has been prosecuted by Bedford Borough Council for operating an unlicensed HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) in the Bedford area.

Mr Fhalora of Ampthill Road, Bedford, was charged on January 3 with failing to obtain an Additional HMO Licence for the property that he manages on behalf of the owner and leases to tenants in Brackley Road.

Mr Fhalora was found guilty in his absence after entering a not guilty plea. As a result, Luton Magistrates Court fined him £2,500. Mr Fhalora was also ordered to pay the council’s full costs of £8,911.12 along with a victim surcharge of £170.

The court heard Mr Fhalora had been reminded by the council’s Community Regulation Team that he was required to licence the property under the Housing Act 2004. However, he failed to act on the advice given, potentially putting the safety of the tenants at risk and showing wilful neglect of his responsibilities as a landlord.

Councillor Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety & Regulatory Services said: “Bedford Borough Council prioritises the safety of its residents by ensuring the Borough’s private rented sector is effectively regulated.

An Additional HMO Licence is required for HMOs which are occupied by three or more unrelated people who share certain facilities in the household such as a kitchen or bathrooms.

Anyone who owns or manages an HMO can check with the Council to see if they need to have a licence.” Bedford Borough Council introduced an Additional HMO Licensing scheme in 2013 for properties rented out to three or more unrelated occupiers who share facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms.

These types of properties are subject to further regulation to give greater protection to tenants as these licences require landlords to invest in their properties, making them safer and in a better state of repair Landlords or tenants requiring further information or clarification regarding HMO Licensing requirements should contact the HMO Licensing Team on (01234) 718099 or refer to the council’s website at: www.bedford.gov.uk/multipleoccupation

Source: Bedford Today

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