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Payment plan for landlord who has collected court fees

The importance of properly registering and licensing HMOs (House of Multiple Occupation) was highlighted in a recent case in Llandudno, where a landlord was fined a total of £7,000.
 
Mark Thorogood was fined by Llandudno Magistrates,for running three unlicensed HMOs, but was able to obtain a consolidation on existing court fines that allowed him to pay off his debts at a rate of £40 per week. He owed a total of £12,000 but received almost £100,000 from his tenants last year, in the form of housing benefit. The three properties, plus the property in which he lives, and which he also owns, are thought to be worth a total of £700,000.
 
Landlords are required to register HMOs and pay for a landlord’s licence under the rules recently brought in by the Welsh government. However, Thorogood claims he has been unfairly treated. “I’ve made mistakes but my ambition is to be honest and true,” he said. “I have been victimised. I am an entrepreneur and I will take a few calculated risks. I have housed more people than you can imagine. I am the pied piper of Llandudno and I had tenants chasing me asking for somewhere to live. I had a million pound turnover with five staff but the regulations are so tight they are making it hard for landlords.” Thorogood was also fined more than £100,000 in 2010 and banned from being involved with regulated financial services.
 
Councils in England as well as Wales are usually willing to work with landlords, recognising that they provide a vital service and that they may not always understand all of the rules. However, in serious cases such as this a fine may be imposed – and particularly when there are safety concerns about the property in question.

If you are in any doubt about your obligations as a landlord, you should contact a solicitor with experience of the rental property market.

Are you a landlord who is uncertain of the law regarding rental properties? Talk to us. We are experienced property law specialists and can give you the expert advice you need. Call 01302 320621 or email info@athertongodfrey.co.uk

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