14:41 PM, 4th July 2011, About 10 years ago
A shared house landlord has lost control of his property after a council banned him from holding a house in multiple occupation licence.
Ken Herring is not considered a ‘fit and proper’ person to run a house in multiple occupation (HMO) after an Oxford City Council inspection found the property housing six tenants in Marston Road, Oxford, was in a poor condition.
The council has already prosecuted Herring for poorly managing two other HMOs in the city.
Herring was trying to find a suitable person to apply for the licence but Oxford City Council took action to seize the home after a letting agent withdrew an application for a licence for the property in May.
The property was taken over on June 28 and the order lasts 12 months.
Essential repairs will be carried out and a plan developed for longer term improvements if a suitable HMO licence applicant does not come forward.
The order makes the council landlord of the property and responsible for collecting rents and carrying out repairs. The landlord is paid any rent left after the council has charged for management and repair costs.
If Herring cannot find a manager by June next year, the council can issue a final management order that lasts five years.
Councillor Joe McManners, Board Member for Housing Needs, said: “This was the last resort for the council but it shows how far we’re prepared to go to ensure that HMOs in Oxford are managed properly.
“If a landlord doesn’t look after their tenants and play by the rules then we will take over the property, if we have to.”
Oxford is the second council to take over managing an HMO recently. Councillors in Peterborough have spent £25,000 on essential repairs to a run down shared house as well, while letting agents in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Bristol have also been deemed unfit to manage shared homes.
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