Landlord fined £6,120
On 19 December at Guildford Magistrates’ Court, Murtha Kehoe of Gloucester Road, Redhill, pleaded guilty to owning and managing an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) since May 2016. He was fined £5,000, as well as the Council’s legal costs of £1,000 and ordered to pay £120 to the victim support fund.
The semi-detached property in Trindles Road, South Nutfield, has six bedsit rooms and a one-bedroomed flat. The property was first licensed as an HMO in July 2006, but the licence expired in May 2016 and Mr Kehoe didn’t submit another licence application. The condition of the property deteriorated which led the Council to issue Improvement Notices to make the electrics safe throughout the property and for the house to be maintained to a satisfactory standard. Only minimal improvements were carried out.
Regular inspection visits were carried out by council officers who concluded the property was not suitable to be occupied by six people. The property was in a very poor state of repair and the facilities provided inadequate.
The court was made aware of his previous convictions, which involve several breaches of Management Regulations in respect of another HMO owned by him in the Reigate and Banstead Borough.
Councillor Nick Childs, Chair of the Housing Committee, said “The fine Mr Kehoe received shows how the Council and the courts are cracking down on bad practices to stamp out poor conditions and improve standards for those renting in the private sector. This case shows Tandridge District Council takes action on unscrupulous landlords and I hope this will lead to improvements in safety standards in the private rented housing market.”