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Luton Borough Council

Private sector housing enforcement

We take the condition of the private rented sector very seriously.

Disrepair and badly managed properties can put tenants safety at risk and we’re committed to ensuring that landlords who fail to meet standards are made to improve properties or face prosecution.

Below you’ll find examples of occasions when we’ve worked with tenants to make sure landlords don’t get away with breaking the rules.

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Nov 2021

  • A Luton tenant was awarded a Rent Repayment Order amounting to over £2,000 against his landlord, who had operated an HMO without a licence.

Oct 2021

  • A Luton Letting agent and its director were found guilty at Luton Magistrates Court of managing three HMOs without a licence and breaches of regulations relating to safety at the premises.  The Director was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice in relation to the case.
  • Penalty: fines of £80,000, £10,000 costs and a community order of 18 months.
  • A landlord was convicted of offences relating to breach of HMO licence conditions and the HMO Management Regulations.
  • Penalty: fines of £18,000 and £3,000 costs.

Oct 2020

  • A Luton Landlord, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to a charge under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, following a fire which broke out at the premises, resulting in the death of one of the tenants.
  • Penalty: sentenced to 4 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with a fine of £20,000 and £12,000 costs

Dec 2019

  • A Landlord, pleaded to a charge of illegally managing a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), and seven breaches of HMO Management regulations. 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
  • Penalty: £27,000 in fines.

Mar 2019

  • Letting agent, pleaded guilty at Luton Magistrates Court to charges of managing a House in Multiple Occupation without a licence and breaching regulations which ensure properties are safe and suitable to be used as HMOs.
    The company was fined a total of £3,400 with a victim surcharge of £120, and Luton Council was awarded costs of £4,220.
  • Penalty: £7,740 in fines

Oct 2018

  • Landlord, ordered, under Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), to pay nearly £30,000 to the council by Luton Crown Court, in relation to five HMOs which were operating without licences and in breach of house in multiple occupation regulations.
  • Penalty: £30,000 in fines

Aug 2018

  • A Landlord, the managing agent and the director of that company, all found guilty of offences related to a breach of an HMO licence they had been granted by the council.
  • Penalty: £4,000 in fines

Jan 2018

  • Landlord fined for a string of dangerous breaches of legislation designed to protect tenants.  In sentencing, the chair of the magistrates court said: "It is clear to us that these offences are motivated by profit without any recourse to regulations or court processes. The defendant has 2 properties not subject to mortgage and received rent from the HMO in excess of £19,000."
  • Penalty: £70,000 in fines

Oct 2017

  • Landlord pleaded guilty to one offence of having an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) and seven additional offences relating to management breaches.  He had previously received a caution in respect of a licensed HMO at another address.
  • Penalty: £11,620 in fines

Jan 2017

  • A landlord and letting agency fined after being found guilty in their absence, of two offences of failing to licence a HMO and nine separate management regulation breaches, at two properties. 
  • Penalty: £26,000 in fines
  • Landlord pleaded guilty to operating a House in Multiple Occupation without a licence and three breaches of HMO regulations.  The court concluded that even though he was absent he was responsible for renting out the property in a poor state to the point of being dangerous. 
  • Penalty: £16,420 in fines

July 2016

  • Landlord pleaded guilty to being in control of 4 HMOs which were not licensed as required by the Housing Act, and to breaches of the Management Regulations in relation to Fire Safety.
  • Penalty: £18,823.09 in fines

March 2016

  • Landlord pleaded guilty to being in control of an HMO which was not licensed as required by the Housing Act.
  • Penalty: £2,375 in fines
  • Co-owners of the premises, pleaded guilty to five counts of HMO management regulation offences (including insufficient fire protection and blocked fire escapes).
  • Penalty: £3,165 in fines

Prohibition Order

Nov 2018

  • Landlord fined for defying a prohibition order on his property, which in reality was little more than a poorly converted garage.  The property had become the subject of a prohibition order while under the management of a previous landlord. When it changed control the new landlord was still bound by the order. Despite this, he issued new agreements with tenants.
  • Penalty: £8,510 in fines

Fraudulent activities

May 2016

  • Letting Agent fined for providing misleading tenancy agreements, false advertising, failing to protect tenant’s deposits and claiming to be members of  the Association of Residential Letting Agents, (ARLA) when they were not.
  • Penalty: £15,562 in fines

April 2016

  • Landlord sentenced for 6 counts of fraud in relation to obtaining properties with false documentation, converting the properties into Houses in Multiple Occupation and then renting the properties out pretending to be the landlord.
  • Penalty: 16 months in prison and £7,500 in costs
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