New electrical checks and safety standards for Landlords8:59 AM, 15th January 2020
About A week ago 169
Some time back the Alliance was contacted by one of our members based in London. This landlord has a substantial portfolio in Liverpool.
Mr Mxxxx was very distressed and angry and informed us that Liverpool city council were engaged in a campaign of harassment against him and his tenants.
We tasked him to produce concrete evidence and advised him to ensure that he was fully compliant and not in breach of any regulations or legislation. Having reviewed a file of proofs, we were completely satisfied as to the merits of this Landlords argument. The authority had previously tried to prosecute Mr Mxxx for not having licences. However, following a Pace (Police and criminal evidence act 1984) interview, Liverpool dropped the case as it transpired that Mr Mxxx had indeed sent in applications which the council lost.
Liverpool city council have a documented history of losing or claiming that they did not receive documentation.
To digress briefly a file was sent by Mr Damien Moore MP for Southport to the previous Secretary of State for Housing. We have heard nothing back and therefore we will pursue this next week.
Back to the case of our unfortunate landlord victim. Mr Mxxx was invited to another Pace interview and asked us for assistance. I spoke with our North West regional Rep Mr John Whalley who himself is an expert authority on Pace procedures. It was decided that both Mr Whalley and myself would accompany this landlord to the Interview with Liverpool.
What followed was shocking beyond belief. We will not name any Liverpool officers as it would appear that very serious criminal offences may have allegedly been committed ie Misconduct/Misfeasance in public office. This offence can carry a tariff of life imprisonment. Now to the actual interview.
Mr Mxxx was called to answer the following allegations:
1. Mr Mxxx not only produced a current in date gas safety certificate, but also produced proof of posting that he had sent it to the council.
2. Furthermore he had a statement from his maintenance contractor that smoke detectors were indeed installed and furthermore it was also noted on the gas safe cert that the smoke detectors had been tested by the gas engineer.
3. With respect to the spurious allegation that the LL had failed to carry out regular inspections, Mr Mxxxx had attempted to clear this up prior to interview by contacting the council officer and asking how he had come to this conclusion and to explain the exact nature of the allegation. The officer refused to elaborate or clarify. The landlord then produced statements from contractors stating that time and again entry was refused by the tenant himself. It transpires the tenant is a vulnerable chap who has serious alcohol issues. Our landlord went the extra mile and contacted social services in Liverpool expressing concern for the tenants welfare (telephone records proved this). Liverpool social services declined to get involved saying the tenant himself should make contact, despite his condition. The tenant then approached Mr Mxxx and gave a letter stating that he wanted to be left alone and Liverpool city council instead of helping him were causing great distress. Our landlord could quite easily have washed his hands of this tenant, but could not bring himself to issue proceedings against this vulnerable gentleman .
4. Liverpool then allege that the landlord fails to maintain the garden despite the tenancy agreement clearly stating that this was the tenants responsibility. The council were now attempting to subvert the provisions of the Housing act 2004 which clearly states that no licence should subvert or attempt to change the terms of a tenancy.
This is all shocking beyond belief, but what comes next is horrific in the extreme.
One of the officers interviewing Mr Mxxx was in fact the same officer who had inspected another of Mr Mxxx properties. This officer sent a compliance notice threatening a £30,000 fine for failure to install a smoke detector. Our landlord had contacted us and we wrote to this officer asking if he was or had been made aware that a detector was in situ at the inception of the tenancy. The officer replied that he was not aware of that. The landlord has now provided us with a statement from his tenant stating that she clearly told the council that a smoke detector had been installed and her husband broke it moving furniture upstairs.
We have also now been provided with a statement from an independent party who was in the property when it was inspected. Once again this witness states that Liverpool were informed that a smoke detector had been installed. Yet another statement was provided by a contractor who had installed the detector. Finally we have also another piece of evidence which is irrefutable and will in due course be handed to the investigatory authorities.
What has happened to us? What has happened to this great Country.
We have tin pot local authorities behaving like dictators. What happened last Friday in the offices of Liverpool city council at 2pm and the events leading up to this, must be the subject of an investigation at the very highest level. How many senior officers in LCC are aware of this. Has the officer who inspected the property been suspended? Has an explanation been obtained as to why it would appear he tried to allegedly extort a civil penalty on purely fraudulent grounds.
How on earth can this corrupt authority be allowed to run any licensing scheme?
This is shocking beyond belief, beyond comprehension. Our landlord is absolutely distraught and yet we predict that Liverpool city council will do nothing, in the hope this goes away. They will not investigate, rather cover up. At the time of writing we have become aware of further issues with respect to another landlord. This should act as a wake up call for everyone.
These councils are dangerously out of control.
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