In an investigation overseen by the Bedfordshire Fire Rescue Service and Luton Borough Council, four properties containing multiple tenants were discovered to be unlicensed. Introduced as a way of ensuring properties meet required standards, including that of fire safety, HMO licensing is legally required by landlords wishing to have more than three tenants, forming more than one household residing a property.
Mr Katona admitted the offences at court after a joint prosecution from the local council and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Inspectors discovered four properties failed to meet certain standards in relation to disrepair, as well as having inadequate protection for residents in the event of the outbreak of a fire.
Councillor Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for housing at Luton Borough Council, said: "In situations like this, unscrupulous landlords are not only taking financial advantage of vulnerable tenants, but placing their lives in danger.
"Every landlord housing different families that share the same facilities under one roof must register for a HMO licence. We will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who show a disregard for the law and their responsibilities towards occupants.”