A landlord has been found guilty of failing to licence a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and of breaching HMO management regulations. The landlord, NKO Enterprises Ltd of High Road, London N20 and its sole director, Korhan Osman of Page Heath Lane, Bromley, each pleaded guilty to 9 offences at Suffolk Magistrates Court and were ordered to pay a total of £4,970 within 28 days.
The house in Brooks Hall Road, Ipswich was visited in October 2019 as part of a joint operation between Ipswich Borough Council Environmental Health Officers, police and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).
It was unlicensed and found to be occupied by at least 6 people living in several separate households under separate tenancies. Officers found management breaches including an unprotected and partially obstructed fire escape route, missing and damaged fire doors and inadequate arrangements for managing and disposing of waste.
The house should have been licenced from October 2018 when HMO licensing laws were expanded to include all houses where five or more people (who are not all members of the same household/family) share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities.
Councillor Alasdair Ross, Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, said:
“HMOs play an important role in Ipswich’s housing market but landlords and property managers need to be aware that they are expected to manage those properties to a high standard in accordance with licensing and management laws. Running HMOs carries extra responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of residents and to ensure that properties do not adversely impact on neighbours. Ipswich Borough Council will continue to work with other agencies to take action against anyone who is prepared to exploit residents by allowing them to live in overcrowded or unsafe conditions.
“Earlier this year Ipswich Borough Council introduced a new policy that enables it to issue Civil Penalties of up to £30,000 for certain housing offences. Where applicable, the Council will also consider making an application for a Banning Order so that the person responsible will not be able to let or manage rented properties”.