Ipswich landlord to pay more than £11,500 in fines and costs for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) offence

Published28th April 2021

A landlord - Mr Martyn Williams of Park Road, Needham Market - has been convicted and ordered to pay more than £11,500 in fines and legal costs for the offence of failing to license a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) following a trial at Ipswich Magistrates Court on Tuesday 27 April 2021.

An investigation was started into the Reading Road property  of Mr Williams by Ipswich Borough Council in August 2019 following complaints by neighbours and information from another council. This led to Ipswich Borough Council, together with both the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority as well as Suffolk Constabulary entering the property with a warrant in February 2020.

Ipswich Borough Council found:

  • The property was being occupied by 12 people despite there not being an HMO license.
  • People were sleeping in an under-stairs cupboard that also had the electrical distribution board.
  • There was no fire alarm system or fire safety measures and a key would be needed to leave the property
  • A significant amount of disrepair to the property was discovered, including serious electrical defects.

 Mr Williams entered a guilty plea for the offence of failing to license the HMO. He was fined  £4000 (which had been reduced due to his guilty plea) and he was also ordered to pay costs of £7596.

Says Ian Blofield, Head of Housing and Community Services at Ipswich Borough Council:

“HMOs must be licensed to both help better ensure the safety and comfort of residents as well as the impact of the property on the area. Failure to licence an HMO is an offence. This will be met with enforcement action which can result in a criminal conviction.”


Issued by the IBC press office press.office@ipswich.gov.uk