£23,500 fine for shared house with no license
A landlord who let a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a license or adequate fire protection has been ordered to pay a fine totalling £23,500.
The investigation by the council's private sector housing and planning teams followed complaints about its safety from concerned neighbours and tenants.
Shared by seven people, the three-storey home was converted for additional rooms without planning or building control approval.
The property lacked adequate fire protection required for HMOs. This included no linked fire alarm to give an early warning in case of emergency or self-closing fire doors which protect escape routes.
The council issued the fine for fire safety failings, failure to produce a gas safety certificate and failure to licence. When landlords apply for an HMO licence, the council inspects the property to ensure it meets all relevant legislation and safety standards.
Simone Russell, Corporate Director at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said:
Having a licensing system in place guarantees better conditions for thousands of renters across our borough. This sends a clear signal that we will act to protect residents if a landlord fails to license their HMO.