Paul Davies (45), from Tamworth Road, Kettlebrook, who rented out a block of flats at Offa Street, Tamworth, pleaded guilty on 14th October and was fined £24,541. He faced 11 eleven charges of breaching regulations relating to a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and failing to comply with an Improvement Notice, served to improve common areas of the block.
The case was brought by Tamworth Borough Council after Private Sector Housing Officers inspected the properties on a number of occasions between October 2013 and February 2014. Officers found damaged and missing fire doors, no available heating, no available gas or electric certificates, filthy common areas and cooking appliances, broken windows, a lack of artificial lighting, exposed wiring from damaged fittings and damaged emergency lighting.
The total fine of £24,541 included costs of £5661 and a victim surcharge of £120, after Mr Davies pleaded guilty to:
- Not keeping a fire escape route in good repair with damaged/missing fire doors
- Failing to keep a fire escape clear from obstruction
- Failure to provide gas and electrical certificates
- Not maintaining common parts in safe and clean repair
- Failing to maintain individual units of accommodation and fixtures, fittings and appliances.
- Failing to protect occupiers from injury
- Failing to complete works as required by an Improvement Notice
Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, Councillor Daniel Cook, said, “This sends a clear message to landlords who are renting out HMOs – we will take action where necessary to protect the tenants living in these properties.
“Where possible, we work with landlords to give help and advice to ensure their properties are up to a decent standard. However in cases such as this where urgent and necessary improvements are not made, we will take enforcement action which sends a clear message to landlords, while also ensuring tenants feel protected.”
A HMO is a house where tenants have their own bedroom but share communal areas, which may include a bathroom, living room or kitchen. By law, landlords must also licence HMOs which accommodate five or more unrelated people, which consist of three or more storeys.
The local authority is warning other landlords it will take legal action to protect tenants who are either living in unlicensed HMO premises or where landlords are not carrying out their duties under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.
As well as responding to concerns from tenants, the Council also carry out random inspections of rented accommodation to ensure properties are in a good and safe condition for tenants.
Landlords are being encouraged to contact the Borough Council if they have any queries about their duties as property managers and whether they need to obtain a licence for properties they rent out.
Tenants who may have concerns about the standard of their rented accommodation, can contact the Borough Council on 01827 709372 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org