Landlord hit with a hefty fine for overcrowding a rental property in Grantham

SKDC news.
SKDC news.
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A landlord has been fined and left with a bill of nearly £6,000 for a breach of overcrowding at his property with an illegal number of tenants.

South Kesteven District Council prosecuted Sanjay Patel under House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) legislation for his property on Launder Terrace in Grantham.

He pleaded guilty to an offence under the Housing Act 2004 at Grantham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

In July 2014, an inspection of the property was carried out and it was found that there were six people in five households in residence, despite the licence only permitting five people in four households.

By September 2014, Patel had reduced the number of people residing at the property to the permitted five. However, it became apparent to the magistrates during the hearing that he had allowed an additional tenant to reside at the property for the last two-and-a-half years.

Despite correspondence to the landlord on January 19 this year, the property was re-inspected and found to be overcrowded again with six occupants in the house.

Magistrates cited Patel culpable for exceeding the numbers of households and persons at the property and the aggravating feature of the case being his financial gain for the period of time of the breach.

He was left with a £6,300 fine, deducted by a third for an early guilty plea to £4,200, £1,453.67 costs and a £120 victim surcharge, totalling a bill of £5,773.67.

SKDC’s business manager for environmental health Anne-Marie Coulthard said: “Landlords provide a good service for their tenants in South Kesteven and those who own homes where multiple tenants live are more than aware of their responsibilities to never overfill their properties.

“However this case shows that landlords cannot simply ignore orders to not overcrowd their properties and we are pleased magistrates saw it fit to impose this level of fine.

“Our officers will always determinedly ensure housing law is strictly adhered to in rented properties to protect tenants.”