Property company's prosecution prompts council warning over rogue landlords (From Essex County Standard)
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Property company's prosecution prompts council warning over rogue landlords
STUDENTS have been warned about rogue landlords when looking for accommodation in Colchester.
The warning comes after Colchester Council prosecuted a property management company, AJW Investments Ltd, and its two directors, for illegally renting a house to five students.
Anthony and James Weekes, the directors, were fined a total of £19,000 for renting a house for multiple occupation (HMO) without the necessary licence to do so.
The council was made aware of the illegal use of the house when officers visited the property in Purcell Close, Colchester, earlier this year.
They discovered five students living in the mid-terraced, three bedroom, three storey property.
The property in question required a HMO licence because it has three stories, five people were living there and it formed two households.
Tina Bourne, the council’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “Going to university is an expensive time for students and their families and finding good, reasonably priced accommodation can be difficult.
“However, I urge students to use reputable letting agents, check properties on the council’s website or use StudentLets, which is run by Essex University’s Students’ Union, to ensure that the properties they are renting are licensed for the correct occupation.”
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