An Ayr landlord has been fined a total of £1,800 at Ayr Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to two charges of operating a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a licence – in a case brought by South Ayrshire Council.
Joe Ippolito (52) owns a number of commercial and residential properties in South Ayrshire and had previously been convicted for a similar offence in 2012.
When the Council's Environmental Health Officers visited the properties they discovered living conditions at the unlicensed properties were also substandard, with poor ventilation, defective and unchecked gas central heating boilers and uncertified electrical installations – in breach of stringent safety standards.
Councillor John McDowall, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Environment said: "Privately let residential properties, shared by more than two unrelated tenants, must have a House in Multiple Occupation Licence.
"As in this case, we regularly inspect these properties to ensure they are up to standard and meet fire, gas and electrical requirements.
"Checks of Mr Ippolito's properties in Queen's Terrace and Eglinton Terrace in Ayr found a number of tenants sharing two unlicensed – and unsafe – properties and this is unacceptable.
"Most private landlords in South Ayrshire provide properties that meet the required safety standards and we are actively considering what further action can now be taken against Mr Ippolito."
Anyone with information, or concerns about their rented property, tenancy or landlord can call the Council on 0300 123 0900.