News: Big penalty for owners of buy to let property shut down by the police

Tue, 18 Dec 18

The owner of a buy to let property already shut by police has been fined by a court in Devon. 

In June of this year magistrates ordered the closure of a property in Holsworthy due to what the local council calls “repeated and significant anti-social behaviour” associated with an HMO. 

Torridge council officers also discovered that the property didn't have appropriate authorisation for such use. 

While a licence was later granted the owners continued to flout the rules regarding how these types of properties should be run and managed, despite repeated warnings from the council. 

Landlord William Medland has now pleaded guilty to charges of non compliance with conditions of an HMO licence and was fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,200 in costs. 

Court papers revealed that although assistance had been offered by Torridge officers over a long period of time this was resisted and not acted on. 

During the period over £22,000 in housing benefit was paid to Medland but no alterations were made to the property to ensure occupants were housed safely and within conditions required by the Housing Act 2004.

Prior to the closure the police were regularly in attendance following numerous complaints from both residents and neighbours. 

The property was classed as potentially dangerous and unsafe due to the significant and persistent disorder which the owner failed to control. 

The council says the property will be put up for sale by Medland and remains unoccupied at present.

A council spokesman says: ”The end result is a fine for the owner which reflects their disregard for the rules and their complacent approach to running their tenancies. 

It is a shame that despite repeated offers of guidance and practical assistance they persisted in their behaviour which resulted in this substantial penalty they will now have to pay. Both the police and our [council] officers deserve our thanks for pursuing this matter to a conclusion."

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