Oxfordshire CC Jan 20 Head of Legal 600

Slide background
Slide background

Council prosecution sees landlord fined £27k for multiple HMO breaches

A landlord in Luton has been ordered to pay £27,000 at a sentencing hearing after previously pleading guilty to illegally managing a house in multiple occupation.

Marco Caruso of Verulam Court in London had also pleaded guilty to seven breaches of HMO regulation.

An investigation by Luton Borough Council found that as well as operating without a licence, the property had insufficient automatic fire detection; missing and broken roof tiles, a hole in the ceiling above the first floor landing and evidence of rodent infestation.

At the sentencing hearing last month (13 December) the District Judge said that Caruso had not taken his responsibilities as a landlord seriously enough, that he had deliberately turned a blind eye to the situation and that he had been uncooperative with the local authority.

He is also reported to have noted that Mr Caruso had shown little or no concern for his tenants or his premises. 

The defendant was ordered to pay £27,000, which included a £170 victim surcharge and costs of £848.70.

Cllr Tom Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Luton Borough Council, said: “This is a great result for the Rogue Landlord Project and an excellent example of how we are working together to ensure that private housing in Luton is of a good standard. If an HMO is poorly managed, the tenant’s safety could be at risk.

“We are committed to identifying rogue landlords and making sure the properties they manage are in a good condition and adhere to safety regulations, or face prosecution. I would strongly encourage tenants or neighbours who suspect a landlord is not adhering to the rules to get in touch with us.”

The Rogue Landlord Project is a partnership between Luton Council, the Fire Service, the Police, the Home Office, Citizens Advice Luton and Luton Law Centre that aims to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords.

Sponsored Editorial

  • Caselines logo 2018

    The Great Bundle Takeaway Debacle

    On 4 April 2019 new rules came into effect for the removal of court bundles in what’s now earned the name of “The Great Bundle Takeaway Debacle.” The debate itself is notable for how little of it is focused on a digital solution. While these issues persist in the Civil courts, its worth reminding…
  • Sheriffs Office Hi res

    High Court enforcement for Local Authorities

    High Court enforcement services can be useful for local authorities in several circumstances. The Sheriff's Office outlines the main circumstances when local authorities may need to use enforcement services and the procedures they will need to follow when they do.
Slide background
Slide background