Four Walsall landlords hit with fines totalling over £20,000 for housing offences

Walsall Council has taken action against four landlords and issued financial penalties totalling over £20,000 to landlords failing to manage their rented properties.

Three of the four cases involved landlords managing a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

The charges included letting unlicensed properties out to unrelated tenants, and failing to ensure that fire safety measures at the property were maintained at an appropriate level. These houses went on to be assessed to have fire safety and electrical hazards.

The fourth landlord was fined for failing to obtain an electrical safety certificate, which is a legal requirement and demonstrates that the electrical installation at a rented property is safe.

In all cases, mitigating factors were taken into account by officers. The immediate co-operation of the landlords with the investigation and the swift completion of work to the properties meant that the fines were reduced.

In total, all four landlords paid a total of just over £20,000 and these fines are ring-fenced in law for further housing enforcement activity. Councillor Adrian Andrew, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration at Walsall Council, said:

“HMO properties play an important role in providing affordable housing to our residents but these properties must meet building and fire safety standards, be appropriately licensed and provide good quality housing for tenants who are paying rent.

“Now more than ever - amid a national housing crisis - we will work closely with the private rented sector to ensure that rented accommodation is safe.

“The Housing Standards team at the council will continue to clamp down on landlords who fail to apply for a licence or to comply with their licence conditions.” 

In September 2022, the council introduced its Additional HMO Licensing Scheme for the wards of Pleck, Palfrey, St Matthews and Paddock. This scheme aims to ensure that all HMOs in these wards are properly managed and that the managers are ‘fit and proper’.

It requires the owners, landlords and agents for each HMO in these wards to obtain a licence from the council. 

Walsall Council has also approved the extension of the licensing scheme to five further wards covering Bentley and Darlaston North, Birchills Leamore, Blakenall, Darlaston South and Willenhall South.

A commencement date is yet to be announced for this second scheme.


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