£4000 fine for UK Landlord who rented out unsafe house to tenant

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert January 22, 2015 13:48

A landlord who rented out a potential death trap has been fined £4,000.

Absentee landlord, Liam Kelly, who lives in Ireland, was prosecuted for failing to carry out repairs to a house in Salford.

He was convicted at Manchester magistrates court in his absence of failing to comply with a Housing Improvement Notice issued by Salford council.

He was also ordered to pay £1060.54 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120.

Magistrates were told that council housing officers visited the property in Worsley Road North, Walkden, in February last year, following a complaint from the tenant.

Officers inspected the whole house and found there was no smoke detector fitted to the ground floor and the back door was stiff and needed force to open and close it.

The bedroom windows could not be opened at the bottom, meaning anyone in the house could not use them to escape a fire.

There was also a one metre high damp patch in the middle of the living room wall and a leak from the bathroom had caused a hole, cracks and bulging in the kitchen ceiling.

In March officers wrote to the landlord, the managing agent Reeds Rains, in Memorial Road, Walkden, detailing the hazards and the work needed.

Both were invited to reply within 14 days but no response was received so the council issued an Improvement Notice requiring the work to be completed within the next three months.

An inspection in June showed none of the work had been carried out. Mr Kelly, of College farm View, Newbridge, County Kildare, was invited to either attend an interview in Salford to explain why it had not been done, or send in a written defence but failed to respond.

Speaking after the case, Councillor Gena Merrett, assistant mayor for housing and environment, said: “Landlords have a responsibility to provide safe and decent housing for their tenants and to act promptly if problems are reported to them.

"Mr Kelly failed to do this and has paid a substantial fine for not taking action.”

The size of the fine has pleased council officers who were appalled last year when a Stockport-based landlord who left a vulnerable woman living in squalor for over a year escaped with a fine of just £510.

The woman had to barricade herself into a house in Murray Street, Salford, which had no door locks, a court heard.

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert January 22, 2015 13:48

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