High Wycombe landlord fined for operating “unsafe and unlicensed” HMO
17 April 2023
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNCIL is continuing to take enforcement action against “unscrupulous” landlords operating within the county. Recently, a High Wycombe landlord – namely Ahmad Kamal Younus of Ellsworth Road – was found guilty of operating an unlicensed HMO and putting tenants at risk.
Younus was charged with five offences, including managing an unlicensed HMO and failing to ensure fire safety measures were in place. The failings at the property were discovered while an environmental health officer was visiting another property in the vicinity of Ellsworth Road.
Initially, Younus tried to conceal the true nature of the state of the property during the first inspection, claiming that it was a family home. However, further investigation by representatives of Buckinghamshire Council’s housing and domestic team revealed that the property was indeed an HMO, housing more than six unrelated occupants.
The case was heard on Monday 6 March at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court before District Judge Sharma. Younus was duly found guilty on all charges, with the Judge concluding that he must have known the house was an HMO. The property was found to be in poor condition, with numerous fire safety-related violations.
In addition, a key turn lock was found on the final exit door at the rear of the property, contrary to Section 234(3) of the Housing Act 2004, which requires that this type of door can be opened from the inside without the use of a key.
Younus was fined £5,000, ordered to pay costs of £6,878.96 and a victim surcharge of £190. The total sum involved was £12,068.96.
Mark Winn, cabinet member for Housing and Regulatory Services at Buckinghamshire Council, explained: “We are wholly committed to ensuring that tenants live in safe and secure conditions. As part of this commitment, we will continue taking decisive action against landlords who put the welfare of tenants at risk by operating unsafe and unlicensed HMOs.”
Winn concluded: “Landlords operating an HMO with five or more tenants must apply for a licence to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents.”