South Ayrshire Council has successfully prosecuted two brothers for operating unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) – a property which is the only or main residence of three or more unrelated people.
Pleading guilty to charges of operating HMOs at Dalblair Road and Queen's Terrace in Ayr, Leo Ippolito and his brother Joe were fined £1,000 and £650 respectively.
For Leo, this was the second time he had been prosecuted for the same charge and both brothers had previously been warned by the Council for running an unlicensed HMO.
Learning that the warnings had been ignored, the Council took action to protect the residents in each property and, after investigations, the matter was reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
Following the convictions, Councillor Philip Saxton, Portfolio Holder for Housing issued a statement welcoming the outcome.
He said: "I hope this judgement sends out a stark warning to those landlords who run unlicensed properties in multiple occupation and welcome this decision, which will help protect tenants in such accommodation.
"We are always keen to work with and support landlords in South Ayrshire, offering guidance and advice on how best to manage properties for the benefit of their tenants.
"However, we will not put up with those individuals who feel they can flout the law and, when it became clear that the Ippolito brothers had ignored our requests and warnings to register their properties, we took action."
The Council is now asking tenants and residents of HMOs who are concerned with the condition of their accommodation, or if they suspect their landlord is not registered, to contact them confidentially on 01292 618222 for advice and information.