HMO Landlord hit with fine of over £40,000

A company that owns and manages two properties in Hatfield has been ordered to pay nearly £50,000, after pleading guilty to 13 offences relating to a HMO.

St Albans Magistrates’ Court ordered Assim Estates Ltd, registered in Essex, to pay £45,500 in fines and full costs of £4,471 to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and a victim surcharge of £120.

Council officers carried out an initial inspection of the property, 1 Redhall Drive in Hatfield, in 2017, and found it to be occupied as an HMO.

The council carried out further inspections in May and July 2018, where it was found that the property was still being used as an HMO and no work had been carried out to improve the fire safety or condition of the property.

The defendant was charged with 13 offences, including: no working fire detection to halls, stairs and landing, no interlinked fire detection in the house, no fire blanket, the hallway areas having no lighting, and various communal areas and bedroom windows missing handles.

Welwyn Hatfield Council executive member for housing and community Nick Pace said: “This is one of the largest fines we have seen for these types of offences, indicating the seriousness of this case.

“It sends out a clear message – that we will always act to protect our residents from landlords who compromise the safety of their tenants.”

The PAL scheme recognises landlords who meet their legal requirements and provides a free legal helpline for all members.