Inverness Landlord Fined for Unlicensed HMO

Yet another landlord has been fined after failing to correctly license a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Inverness despite several warnings.

Inverness landlord Ken Mack is being forced to pay £2,000 after Highland Council environmental health officers inspected the property following tenant complaints. Five tenants were found to be residing in the home. The property in question also did not meet the minimum standards of the council for licensed HMOs.

Repeated attempts were made to get Mack to license the property, however he failed to follow these up, leading to eventual prosecution and resulting in the fine being imposed.

Chairman of the Licensing Committee, Councillor Ian Cockburn, said: ‘Ultimately the HMO licensing scheme was introduced to protect tenants and help ensure properties are safe, and so it is important that the council takes action to protect tenants in these cases. I am pleased that in imposing this level of fine the court has reflected the importance of licensing and that owners should not seek to avoid applying. Therefore, I would encourage both landlords and tenants to contact the council if they have any concerns about their property. Officers are here to help.’

Senior environmental health officer, Gregor MacCormick, said: ‘We hope that the significant fine imposed in this case sends out a strong message to landlords that they must be licensed if their property is being occupied as an HMO. The Council considers it important to demonstrate to responsible landlords who have made the effort to comply with the legislation and bring their properties up to the required standard, that less responsible landlords are actively being pursued. The Environmental Health Service will continue to take action against those landlords who do not apply, so I would urge all owners and agents to ensure that their properties are meeting legal requirements.’

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