A landlord with a large portfolio of homes in the city has been prosecuted by Portsmouth City Council for obstructing officers in carrying out their duties.

The landlord had not been managing their Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) properly, despite some of the properties housing up to eight tenants. This resulted in serious safety concerns including breaches of fire regulations, broken windows, and severe damp and mould growth.

On three separate occasions, when housing enforcement officers were attempting to carry out their duties under the Housing Act 2004, the landlord used abusive language and threatening behaviour to prevent the officers from entering the properties. Despite the landlord’s behaviour, the council has successfully taken enforcement action and has ensured that the properties are safe for the tenants.

In September 2023, Portsmouth Magistrate Court supported council officers in prosecuting the landlord under Section 241 of the Housing Act 2004 and found the landlord guilty on all three charges of obstruction. The landlord was issued with three fines, ordered to pay a victim’s surcharge, as well as ordered to pay court costs to the council, totalling £3,634.

Cllr Ian Holder, Cabinet Member for Safety in the Community, said: “No-one deserves to encounter abusive behaviour when they are doing their job, so I’m very glad we have successfully prosecuted the landlord involved. Our enforcement work is vital to ensure that residents in HMOs live in safe and healthy homes, something that everyone deserves to have. I hope this serves as a warning to any landlord managing unsafe or unregulated houses, we won’t let this kind of behaviour continue, and we will take appropriate action when needed.”

You can find out more about licensing and other information you need as a landlord on the council’s webpages – https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/services/housing/landlords/