HMO landlords urged to license rented properties
The owners of a house let out to Swansea students have been fined a total of £5,000 for failing to ensure the house has been properly licensed despite warnings from Swansea Council.
Mr Markus Volkart-Hill of 15 Cross way, Christchurch, Bournemouth appearing before City Magistrates pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to license 19 The Promenade, Mount Pleasant, Swansea. His wife Mrs Maureen Volkart Hill who also owns the property failed to attend court.
Prosecutor for the Council, Sarah Thyer Hughes, said that since January 2009, all landlords of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in the Castle and Uplands wards had to license their properties with the local authority. She told the court that Mr and Mrs Volkart-Hill had failed to license 19 The Promenade which is home to seven tenants.
The Magistrates fined Mr Volkart-Hill £2,000 and ordered him to pay a £15 victim surcharge and the Council's costs of £294. Mrs Volkart-Hill, in her absence, was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £294 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
An Environmental Health Officer visiting in November 2011 found the property to be poorly managed, but the landlords are now working with the Council to license the property and to bring it up to the required standards.
Martin Saville, Head of Public Protection in Swansea Council, said: "We want to ensure that HMOs are of a good standard and well-managed so they provide safe and secure homes for tenants.
"This is another good result. Swansea has some excellent landlords and they can be assured that we are taking the appropriate enforcement action with landlords who fail to comply with their legal obligations."
Landlords in Swansea can visit Swansea Council's website for help and advice about licensing an HMO. Visit www.swansea.gov.uk/hmos or phone 01792 635600.
Sign up for daily news alerts at www.swansea.gov.uk/subscribe