Landlord has to pay almost £5,000 for failing tenants

The owner of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Tamworth has been ordered by a court to pay almost £5,000 for failing to maintain the property and allowing it to fall into poor condition.

Darren Harrison, from Staffordshire Lettings, based at Grange Lane in Lichfield, pleaded guilty to breaching four regulations relating to HMOs when he appeared at Burton Magistrates Court last week (June 28). He was fined £4,965 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,400, plus a £15 victim surcharge.

The court was told that when council officers inspected Mr Harrison’s property in Elizabeth Drive, Tamworth in November last year, the smoke alarm system was not working, he failed to provide the local authority with gas and electrical safety certificates for the property, the bathroom and shower areas were poorly maintained and unhygienic, the light fitting in the ground floor toilet was defective and could not be used, the kitchen was in an unhygienic condition and there was no notice on display providing contact information to

the occupants of the premises.

Tamworth Borough Council is warning other landlords that it will take legal action to protect tenants living in private rented accommodation to ensure that landlords are providing a safe and hygienic environment.

Cllr Mary Oates, Cabinet member for Quality of Life, said: “This court case sends a very clear message to landlords that they have to maintain their properties to an acceptable standard and, if they fail to do so, we will take action against them.

“Our officers will continue to make random inspections of HMOs and if they do not meet regulations and tenants are being put at risk, we can – and will – prosecute.”

The Borough Council has a register of the licensed HMOs in Tamworth and regularly carries out random inspections of all HMOs to ensure properties are in good condition for tenants.

Tenants who may have concerns about the standard of their rented accommodation, can contact the Borough Council on 01827 709439 or email: privatehousing@tamworth.gov.uk

• HMOs are houses occupied by three or more people who do not form a single household, where there are shared facilities such as kitchen areas and bathrooms
• Licensed HMOs are properties consisting of three storeys or more; have five or more occupants living in two or more households, with some shared facilities

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