Two Southampton landlords have been fined thousands of pounds as part of a ‘rogue landlord‘ licence crackdown.
Both Sukhvinder Singh Athwal and Koshdev Singh Taak must pay over £3,700 after failing to licence their Southampton properties. Landlords have been told to licence their properties for reduced fees and to avoid fines of up to £20,000. Southampton city council extended their 2013 house of multiple occupation (HMO) licensing scheme to Bassett, Freemantle, Millbrook and Swaythling as well as Bargate, Bevois, Portswood and Swaythling wards.
All HMO owners are required to licence their properties and pay a fee to the council so inspections can be carried out. As well as fines of up to £20,000, landlords may be forced to pay back tenants up to three months in rent if they do not comply with the scheme.
Some Southampton landlords have already been successfully prosecuted for not licensing properties or, in one case, where a seven-bed HMO did not have working fire alarms and blocked escape routes.
Athwal admitted not licensing a house in Harborough Road as well as two counts of failing to provide information required by notices under the Housing Act 2004 and the 1976 Local Government Act. He was fined £3,000 with an extra £670 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge. Taak also pleaded guilty to failing to licence a HMO in Northumberland Road, and was fined £3,000 with £636 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.
Labour Councillor Warwick Payne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainability, said;
The council will continue to deal robustly with landlords who fail to apply for a licence and those who let unsafe homes. At the same time we want to work with responsible landlords by helping them comply with the rules, as they provide a valuable service for the city.