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London landlord fined for unsafe HMO

Words: Laura Edgar
HMO lacks smoke alarm / iStock-172404569

Islington Council has successfully prosecuted a rogue landlord for failing to comply with fire safety regulations and carry out repairs to his property.

A complaint from a tenant living at Flat C, 98 Petherton Road saw a council environmental health officer inspect the property, which had four unrelated occupants sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities.

The house in multiple occupation (HMO) did not have a mains wired smoke alarm system, or a fire door to the kitchen as required by HMO licensing. There was also a bedroom window in a poor state of repair. The officer issued an improvement notice under section 12 of The Housing Act 2004 to the owner David Simons, requiring him to remedy these defects and provide an electrical installation condition report.

The council officer returned to the property on two more occasions to find the notice had not been complied with.

Simons was found guilty of failing to complying with the notice at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 11 April. He was sentenced on 16 May and fined £12,400. Costs of £600 were awarded with a victim’s surcharge of £175.

In sentencing him, the magistrates stated that they take very seriously any breaches relating to fire risk in multiple occupancy housing.

Diarmaid Ward, executive member for housing and development at the council, said: “Everyone has the right to a safe, genuinely affordable home and we will not tolerate dodgy operators taking advantage of people’s desperate need for a home. Where we find unacceptable conditions we will act to protect tenants.”

Image credit | iStock