Fine for Newquay Landlord for HMO Management Breaches

At Bodmin Magistrates Court on 8 July 2011, Cornwall Council’s Private Sector Housing team successfully prosecuted Newquay landlord Karen Gamon of Toppers Hotel, 73 Mount Wise, Newquay, for failing to comply with requirements of the Housing Act 2004 and The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations

During an inspection of the property in June 2010, numerous breaches of the Management Regulations were identified. 

The inspecting officer noted the automatic fire detection installation was defective and posed an imminent risk of serious harm to occupiers from the fire hazard. 

Miss Gamon was immediately required to ensure the fire alarm was working by having it tested by a competent person. If she failed to do so, emergency action by the Council would have been necessary to protect the occupiers. 

Miss Gamon was informed of the HMO Management Regulations breaches by the Council but failed to carry out necessary works over a significant period. 

Works specified included the requirements to remove stored combustibles restricting safe use of the means of escape in the property, make safe the loose and cracked concrete tiled entrance pathway steps, remedy penetrating damp to the ground floor porch and remove significant accumulations of refuse to the rear of the property. 

In December 2010, a final inspection was undertaken. The fire alarm was again noted as defective, and works to remedy the identified issues under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations had not been done. 

Miss Gamon pleaded guilty to 4 separate offences relating to her failure to maintain the fire precautions, means of escape route in the event of a fire, communal areas and outbuildings at the property. The court issued fines of £1,700 with costs of £173.67 awarded to the Council and a £15 victim surcharge. 

Cornwall Council cabinet member for housing Mark Kaczmarek said:

“Cornwall Council values the contribution made by well-managed houses in multiple occupation within the local housing market but will continue to intervene in these types of property to ensure minimum standards are maintained. As indicated by this case there are landlords who flout the law by failing to ensure their properties conform to legal requirements. These people can rest assured that in order to protect the health safety and welfare of tenants in private rented accommodation the Housing Service will make every effort to bring them to book. I want to congratulate the Private Sector Housing team for their good work in bringing this successful prosecution.”

View Related Handbook Page

Duties on the Manager of an HMO

The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 place specific duties on the manager of an HMO