9:42 AM, 9th September 2011, About 13 years ago 1
Councillors have warned HMO landlords to put their house in order or face prosecution.
The warning was triggered as magistrates in Bath fined two local landlords for breaching HMO licensing conditions.
Richard Seccombe was ordered to pay £700 plus £15 victims surcharge and £100 costs for flouting fire safety in a rental property in Wells Road, Bath.
Kwok Ling Li pleaded guilty to two charges relating to lack of heating and insulation and another involving poor electrical installations at a shared house in Moorland Road, Bath.
He was fined £1,000 on each charge, plus costs of £150 and a victim surcharge £15.
“We have worked with both landlords over a long period of time to get their properties compliant with nationally recognised standards. Unfortunately, they have failed to comply and following this successful prosecution hit hard in their wallets. Inaction on the part of landlords could lead to something much worse – putting the lives of tenants in danger,” said Graham Sabourn, associate director for housing at Bath & North East Somerset Council.
The council inspects around a thousand rental properties every year in response to complaints or requests for advice about private housing.
Councillor Tim Ball (Lib-Dem, Twerton), Cabinet Member for Homes and Planning, added, “There are no excuses for landlords being unaware of what their obligations are for keeping properties in a safe condition. Extensive guidance is available on our website and from our housing standards team to meet the required standard. Landlords must get their houses in order or face the consequences.”
Meanwhile another landlord was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,100 costs in his absence for failing to improve fire safety in flats he leased out in Redhill, Surrey.
Christopher Andrews was convicted and fined at Redhill Magistrates Court for non compliance with a statutory improvement notice.
Councillor Steve Farrer, Executive Member for Safer Communities for Redhill Council said: “HMOs present the highest risk from fire compared to other homes. Where deficiencies are found, the council will always take action to make homes safer.”
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