HMO companies fined £114,000 after successful prosecution
Two Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) companies have been handed a hefty fine after it was convicted of 17 charges of failing to maintain and properly manage three of his licensed Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
The charges were brought by Wrexham Council’s Environmental Health and Housing standards team (part of the Public Protection service).
Pritchard Property (Paragon) Limited, Pritchard Property (Lloyds) Limited and Pritchard Accommodation Limited were fined £114,000 in total for the offences and costs of £16,599.
The controlling Director of the Companies, Mr Arran Pritchard, who is resident in Thailand, indicated that he had employed a manager to look after the properties who failed to adequately maintain or inspect the three properties.
The judge found that Mr Pritchard, as sole director of the properties, was not able to property manage them on a day to day basis whilst based abroad.
He found there was a “systemic failure to monitor maintenance and supervise staff”, resulting in properties which did not meet acceptable standards and presented a clear risk of harm.
He relied on his lettings manager who was unable to sufficiently supervise his staff and had failed to provide any evidence of any inspections taking place.
Cllr Terry Evans, Lead Member for Planning and Public Protection, said, “Many landlords throughout Wrexham are acting in a responsible way and regularly inspect and maintain their properties.
“This prosecution and fine should act as a deterrent to those landlords who are neglecting their duty to ensure tenants are provided with a safe, warm and properly maintained property.”
Plaid Cymru councillor for Offa Katie Wilkinson said: “I welcome the news that Arron Pritchard of Pritchard’s Accommodation has rightfully been fined with the mismanagement of a number of his properties.
“The challenges we face locally with HMOs are difficult enough without the addition of rogue landlords who are not only taking advantage of the housing crisis, but profiteering off our most vulnerable members of society.
“I hope this sends a strong message to the company and landlords as a whole, and that we see some much needed improvements to the properties he manages in Offa and across Wrexham.”
You can contact the Environmental Health and Housing Standards team by e-mail at HealthandHousing@wrexham.gov.uk or on 01978 292040 if you have concerns about the HMO you are living in.”
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