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Magistrates get tough with landlords who don’t tow the line

Councillors in charge of the housing sector at Bath and North East Somerset Council are warning landlords with properties in the area to literally put their homes in order or risk massive fines.

The council are reminding landlords that their obligations do not stop at finding a tenant, covering a property with property insurance and collecting the rent. After two successful prosecutions in the last few weeks they are urging the few rogue landlords left in the area to make sure they are compliant with rules and regulations demanded by the authorities.

The council are particularly concerned about the safety aspects of Homes of Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The inhabitants of HMOs are ten times more likely to suffer injury from fire than conventional tenants and the councillors in Bath have recently successfully prosecuted one such landlord for being in breach of fire safety regulations and another for poor electrical installations.

Graham Sabourne, a councillor in the housing sector, said “We have worked with both landlords over a long period of time to get their properties compliant with nationally recognised standards. Unfortunately, they have failed to comply and following this successful prosecution hit hard in their wallets. Inaction on the part of landlords could lead to something much worse – putting the lives of tenants in danger.”

Bath and North East Somerset Council are just one of hundreds of councils in England and Wales that insist on landlords meeting certain criteria with all of their properties, they offer full expert advice to residential landlords looking for help and stress that it is only a small minority of landlords who they have concerns about.

By Simon Dack

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