Ban for rogue landlord who put ‘profit ahead of safety’

A rogue letting agency that put “profit ahead of safety” at multiple properties in Liverpool has been banned from operating for four years.

It was revealed earlier this month how Trophy Homes Limited and its directors Sean Broadhurst, Robert Broadhurst, and Maria Helena Broadhurst were sanctioned for illegally renting out rooms at houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) across the city without the required licensing.

Liverpool Council has secured a banning order against the firm, which applies across England.

The firm is now prohibited from handing out any new tenancies until at least April 2028.

When Trophy Homes was sanctioned at Liverpool Magistrates Court earlier this month, it was the third time the company had been prosecuted for failure to licence their properties. An investigation by Liverpool Council’s private sector housing team identified issues at several properties in Everton West, Toxteth and Canning.

Their offences included a failure to have an HMO licence and to comply with notices requested by the Council under the Housing Act 2004 and the Local Government (miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. The directors were prosecuted under s251 of the Housing Act 2004.

Presiding District Judge Healey said the companies and directors had “put profit ahead of the safety and most basic needs of their tenants”. He said that the risk of harm was elevated because the tenants were students.

The directors and Trophy Homes were hit with penalties totalling more than £250,000 as a result.

This new banning order will be placed on the database of rogue landlords and property agents, which all housing authorities in England can access. Breaching the Banning Order is a criminal offence.

Existing tenancies are not subject to the ban for a period of six months, meaning Trophy Homes is prevented from granting any new tenancies, but current tenancies can end or assign without significant impact on current occupiers. Residents who have concerns about their rented home can search the register of licensed properties or report poor quality conditions or the landlord.

Louise Harford, Liverpool Council interim director of housing, said, “We will always work with landlords and letting agents in the city – but we will also always take action where it is needed to keep tenants safe. It is extremely disappointing that Trophy Homes has not taken their responsibilities as letting agents seriously and this banning order will give them a substantial amount of time to get their own house in order.

“The granting of this order will also send a further signal that the council’s private sector housing team will not tolerate landlords and letting agents who ignore their legal obligations.”

Image: Liverpool Council

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