Bath & North East Somerset Council has prosecuted a Letting Agent; GT&G Limited trading as Camden House, (previously known as Local Lets) for failing to make a valid application for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence. Mr Patrick Tetley, the owner and director of GT&G Limited, appeared at Bath Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 8th November 2017 and pleaded guilty to the Housing Act 2004 offence.
The court heard that Camden House, who have full management responsibility of the property, were found to be managing the HMO without a licence in March 2017. It took a further 3 months for a completed licence application to be received at the Council. The HMO had required a licence under the Additional Licensing Scheme from the 1st January 2014.
The property was a 2 storey, 3 bedroom HMO. Tenancy agreements were held with 3 occupants, although at least 5 people were occupying the property in the bedrooms, living room and dining room. The property was found to have many disrepair issues.
Patrick Tetley admitted to not having a checking procedure in place to ensure the HMOs managed by Camden House have a valid licence where required.
The court sentenced GT&G Limited to a £2500 fine and was ordered to pay the prosecution costs of £1360 and the victim surcharge of £250.
Councillor Paul Myers (Conservative, Midsomer Norton North), Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic & Community Regeneration, said: “Our Housing Services will try to work in partnership with landlords and Letting Agents to improve housing standards. Additional licensing helps ensure that occupants of HMOs are able to live in safe and well managed properties. Where Letting Agents fail to ensure that HMOs which they manage are properly licenced such as was the case here, they are undermining the objectives of the additional licensing scheme”.
Additional licensing was brought in by the Council in 2014 to address issues of poor management in small HMOs with three or more persons in certain areas of Bath. If residents are aware of any properties that are operating without a HMO licence then they can contact Housing Services on 01225 396269 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org For more information on the legal requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupation residents can visit: www.bathnes.gov.uk/hmos.