A landlord calling himself the “pied piper of Llandudno” has been issued a bill for around £7,000 for operating three unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
Llandudno Magistrates’ Court fined Mark Thorogood, 50, of West End, Beaumaris, on Wednesday 26th August for failing to obtain HMO licenses for three properties. Two of the homes are located on Bodhyfryd Road, Llandudno and Conwy County Council took action against the landlord.
However, Thorogood successfully obtained a consolidation on outstanding court fines, which allows him to pay them off over time, at just £40 per month, despite earning around £100,000 in housing benefit from his tenants last year.
He must pay the courts at least £12,000, which will take 25 years to clear.
The unlicensed properties and the home listed as his address on court documents are believed to be worth around £700,000.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) banned Thorogood from being involved with regulated financial services and fined him over £104,000 in 2010.
Although he pleaded not guilty to the latest breaches, Thorogood was fined £5,000, ordered to pay legal costs of £1,500, investigative costs of £234 and a victim surcharge of £125.
Thorogood previously admitted to not paying the FSA fine, which he claims was “unjust”.
Landlords in Wales are required to register HMOs and pay for a landlord’s license under new rules from the Welsh Government.
Previously, Thorogood declared his innocence: “I’ve made mistakes, but my ambition is to be honest and true. I have been victimised. I am an entrepreneur and I will take a few calculated risks.
“I have housed more people than you can imagine. I am the pied piper of Llandudno and I had tenants chasing me asking for somewhere to live.
“I had a million pound turnover with five staff, but the regulations are so tight they are making it hard for landlords.”1
A Conwy County Council spokesperson states: “Licensing HMOs is important because it helps to raise standards, thereby protecting both the tenants and the local community.
“The council is committed to raising the standards of HMOs in the area and will prosecute landlords who disregard their responsibilities as this case clearly shows.”1