A lettings company called Trophy Homes Limited, based in Liverpool, has pleaded guilty to failing to apply for an HMO licence for two homes in the city.
The presiding judge described the company as “poorly run” with a clear lack of regard for tenants by failing to obtain licences and comply with its legal obligations.
In court, Liverpool council’s legal team said there had been “a blatant disregard” for the obligations that come with being in control of HMOs. The properties had issues with safety and poor management due to ineffective fire doors, overflowing drainage in the shared living room and intermittent electricity and gas supplies. A manhole had been placed over a hole in the lounge of one property.
The company was aware of the legislation as it had been found guilty of a previous breach in February 2020 when it was fined £45,000 for similar offences.
For the latest offences Trophy Homes Limited was fined £15,000 for each property, plus costs of £904.43 and a victim surcharge of £190.
Referencing the previous convictions, the judge said the company had not learned its lesson with respect to licensing offences and described the company as one that was “not very well run” and demonstrated a “lack of regard, lack of compliance and a lack of cooperation”.
Council housing cabinet member Sarah Doyle says:
“Trophy Homes Limited was happy to take the rent from students, yet provided them with sub-standard accommodation that put them at risk of injury, or much worse.
“I am pleased that the court has imposed a substantial fine which will hopefully persuade the firm to change it ways and comply with the law in future.
“Our recently launched Landlord Licensing scheme gives us the capacity to really step up our ability to inspect private sector rental properties, and take action when it is needed. We won’t hesitate to step in when we have evidence of rogue landlords giving tenants a raw deal, and I would urge anyone who does have any information to report it via our website at liverpool.gov.uk so that we can carry out an investigation.”
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