By Court Reporter

21 cases  of landlords failing to license

21  landlords have been prosecuted for failing to license their properties in Swansea.

Abdul Muhith, of Hatherleigh Drive, Newton, Swansea, and Dean Ricketts, of Turnpike Lane, Redditch in Worcestershire are the latest to be prosecuted.

Both failed to license houses they let out in multiple occupation (HMOs) despite warnings from Swansea Council and visits to the properties by council officers.

Mr Ricketts pleaded guilty at Swansea Magistrates Court on February 23 to charges of failing to license two properties he rents out in Carlton Terrace in Mount Pleasant and Brynmill Avenue in Brynmill.

He was fined £2,000 and a victim surcharge of £15 for each property, with costs of £548 being awarded to the council.

Expired

Mr Muhith also pleaded guilty when he attended Swansea Magistrates Court the same day on charges of failing to license his house in multiple occupation in Willows Place in Mount Pleasant.

The property had previously been licensed, but Mr Muhith failed to apply to relicense it when his licence expired in May 2011.

He was fined £1,600 with a victim surcharge of £15 and made to pay the council’s costs of £274.

Both landlords are now working with the council to license the properties and to bring the properties up to the required standards.

John Hague, cabinet member of environment in Swansea Council, said: “Swansea Council has now successfully prosecuted 21 cases of landlords failing to license their HMOs since licensing was introduced in 2006, nine of those being since April 2011.

“We want to ensure that HMOs are of a good standard and well-managed so they provide safe and secure homes for tenants.”

There are around 2,000 HMOs in Swansea and a large majority of them are in the Castle and Uplands areas of the city. The council introduced an additional HMO licensing scheme in January 2009 to cover both these wards.

Mr Hague added: “We know that there are lots of good landlords in Swansea who manage their properties well and comply with legal requirements.

“We want to encourage those landlords and assure them and tenants living in HMOs that we will take appropriate legal action, including prosecution, for those who fail to comply with the law.”

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