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Countrywide chain Beresford Adams and landlord together fined £30,000 over HMO

Wrexham council discovers that HMO is unlicensed and that conditions at the property include inadequate fire safety provision.

Sheila Manchester

countrywide

A landlord and her letting agent, 28-branch Countrywide chain Beresford Adams, must pay a total of £32,300 in fines, costs and victim surcharge after an HMO visited by inspectors in Wrexham found it to be unlicensed.

Landlord Jane Sabio, who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, was fined £5,000 with costs of £1,697 as well as £170 victim surcharge. Beresford Adams, which managed the property, was fined a total of £22,500, plus a £107 victim surcharge and £2,819 costs.

An officer from the council’s Environmental Health and Housing Standards team found the unlicensed HMO during an inspection following up on a complaint from a tenant about a lack of repairs.

Countrywide fined

The letting agents Beresford Adams, part of Countrywide, had also, earliest in the month, pleaded guilty to a number of breaches at the same property, including inadequate fire safety measures and failing to supply an electrical safety certificate to Wrexham Council.

Cllr Hugh Jones, lead member for communities, partnerships, public protection and community safety, said: “The council is proactively working with landlords and letting agents to assist them in raising standards for tenants. But if they choose not to co-operate and not to comply with the legal requirements, we will have no hesitation in taking firm enforcement action, as this case demonstrates.”

Wrexham Council added, “Most landlords and letting agents ensure HMOs are properly licensed and maintained, but if your landlord or letting agent fails to acquire an HMO licence or carry out the necessary repairs and make adequate fire safety arrangements, you can contact the Environmental Health and Housing Standards team.

“We keep a list of currently licensed HMOs on our website and also provide information on what an HMO is, and how they can be licensed.”

 

September 23, 2019

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