HMO landlord’s 12 offences incur £60,000 penalty

27 June 2019

Heather Jackson must pay a £55,000 fine, together with £3,000 in costs and victim surcharge, after putting vulnerable tenants at risk.

According to Landlord Today, she allowed tenants to occupy bedsits in her Southport property which totalled 16 in number, despite the fact that the building had faulty fire alarms and a leaking roof.     

On visiting the property with police in December 2018, council inspectors discovered that she had no licence for a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and failed to provide evidence of gas safety records.

They also found that the fire alarms had been deactivated, escape routes were blocked, a fire exit corridor had been converted into a makeshift kitchen and a fire door had been locked shut. 

Ms Jackson pleaded guilty at South Sefton Magistrates Court to 12 housing standards offences, about which a Sefton Council spokesperson commented: ‘HMO legislation is put in place to help protect tenants and also serves to ensure landlords comply with all rules and regulations. As seen today, this was clearly not the case and we welcome the outcome at court and the substantial fines imposed.

‘We want to send a clear message to the small number of landlords who compromise the safety of their tenants that this is not acceptable and can end up in a court case. As proved today, large fines will be imposed by the courts and we will always act to protect our residents.’

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