AN OXFORD landlord has been fined £6,500 for failing to license a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Zahid Butt, 56, was prosecuted after Oxford City Council found he had rented out the house he owned in Crescent Road, Cowley to five people and created a situation where he failed to apply for an HMO licence, according to the city council.

The house was also in a poor state of disrepair, the authority added.

City council spokesman Chofamba Sithole said the council’s HMO enforcement team visited the property in September following information that the house was being used as an HMO.

The house was found to be occupied by five people and several contraventions of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 were seen, including items which were a fire risk stored in an escape route.

Doors to the kitchens were not adequately fire-resistant and there was no door on one of the bedrooms.

Other issues included a taped-up electrical switch in a bedroom, a cooker lacking adjacent work surfaces, and damaged flooring, wall tiles and plaster in the kitchen, the council said.

Mr Sithole said there was rotten wood in the back door, defective steps to the yard and, despite a request by the council, Butt had not provided an electrical test certificate for the property.

Butt, of Crescent Road, Cowley, pleaded guilty to the offence under section 72 of the Housing Act 2004 when he appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

For failing to license the HMO the court imposed a fine of £6,500.

The court told him to pay £1,406 towards the council’s costs.

After the hearing, deputy leader of the city council Ed Turner said: “We are now seeing very hefty fines awarded to landlords for failing to licence properties as HMOs. That’s quite right because landlords are well aware of their responsibility and most have complied.”