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Councils join forces to fine rogue HMO landlord

Two councils have fined a landlord known only as 'Mr Gurung' £3,000 for having an overcrowded HMO.

He was fined £800 and told to pay £2,000 in costs, including a £200 victim surcharge.

Gurung was prosecuted following an investigation by police from the Public Protection Partnership, a combined service of Bracknell Forest and West Berkshire councils.

Councils join forces to fine rogue HMO landlord

The PPP paid an unannounced visit to a property in January 2023 after receiving information of a probable unauthorised HMO: 13 people were discovered in the two-story residence, which includes a partially renovated loft. Seven rooms were utilised as bedrooms, with inhabitants sharing one bathroom and a separate toilet.

A young couple and a kid shared one bedroom, while a guy in his 90s with obvious medical requirements shared another bedroom with his old wife and a male relative.

Along with the congestion, there were several home dangers, including a poorly built lean-to used as a communal room and an extremely tight set of steps leading to a loft conversation where mouse droppings were discovered. A gas boiler flue vented into the lean-to rather than outside. There was no central heating, so inhabitants had to utilise plug-in electrical heaters or oil-filled radiators.

With numerous electrical risks and a gas canister located in the kitchen, there was a high fire risk.

A spokesperson for Bracknell Forest Council says: “We work closely with landlords and support them to meet their legal obligations. However, we do not shy away from taking legal and enforcement action when needed. We hope the outcome of this case sends a strong message to other landlords who breach their duties.”


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