Landlord fined £25,000 for breaching housing regulations in Stockland Green

Published: Thursday, 29th March 2018

Anthony Freeman, aged 58 of Sutton Coldfield, has pleaded guilty to failure to obtain a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licence and numerous breaches of the HMO Management Regulations.

He has been fined £25,000 on Thursday 29th March at Birmingham Magistrates Court.  In addition to the £25,000 fine, Mr Freeman was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and costs to Birmingham City Council of £2,454. 

Mr Freeman had been letting a three storey property at 472 Slade Road, Stockland Green to at least five individuals.

In a joint operation with West Midlands Police, Birmingham City Council Officers from the Private Rented Services team found that Mr Freeman’s property had no smoke detectors in the bedrooms; there was no fire blanket in the kitchen, inadequate emergency lighting on the escape route, missing staircase handrails, non-compliant fire doors and broken and leaking guttering and waste pipes. 

Mr Freeman is an experienced landlord whose main business is home improvements and who was well aware of the requirements of HMO licensing.  He was housing vulnerable tenants either on benefits or low incomes, in a property in which the fire precautions were inadequate and the property condition was generally neglected putting the lives in danger of those tenants who relied on him to provide safe accommodation. 

Later this year HMO licensing will be extended to all HMOs occupied by five or more unrelated persons.  This fine sends out a message to landlords who avoid the law that Birmingham City Council will pursue anyone who lets unlicensed and/or substandard accommodation.