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Spicehaart fined by magistrates over unlicensed HMO – in town where it has its HQ

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Spicerhaart has been handed a bill of £2,670 after operating an unlicensed HMO in the town where the company has its headquarters.

Colchester council, in Essex, brought the prosecution which resulted in magistrates fining Spicerhaart £2,000 with £500 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

Tina Bourne, Colchester councillor responsible for housing and communities, said: “We hope that bringing this case to court will serve as both a deterrent and a reminder to letting agents and landlords to think twice before letting properties to multiple occupants without an appropriate licence.

“The council is committed to protecting the health and safety of residents in Colchester by enforcing housing standards, and will always take action against landlords and managers of HMOs whenever they fail to comply with housing law.”

The case was heard after one of the council’s private sector housing officers visited the three-storey property being let to six students.

As a three-storey property, it fell within the mandatory requirement for HMO licensing but neither Spicerhaart, the management company, nor the owner had applied for a licence.

Andrew Benn, managing director of residential lettings at Spicerhaart, said: “We acknowledge there was an unfortunate breach of the regulations relating to an HMO, due to a change in circumstances involving the tenancy.

“We admitted this administrative oversight at the earliest opportunity and have put measures in place to ensure this does not happen again.”

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Source:: Spicehaart fined by magistrates over unlicensed HMO – in town where it has its HQ