A Yorkshire landlord was fined £24,000 and ordered to pay a further £18,000 in costs after breaching a number of housing and fire safety rules. There were a series of management failures in flats at 4 and 5 Leading Post Street, Scarborough, which he was letting as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO).
Scarborough Borough Council claimed the HMO property was ‘one of the worst they’ve seen’.
Landlord Mr Gary Fixter’s failure to adequately maintain the electrics in the building, allowed dangerous live wires to be exposed in the common areas. It was said this could have resulted in the death or serious injury to his tenants.
Fixter who was prosecuted by the local council and branded ‘despicable’ by one local councillor was found guilty of breaching 18 rules, including:
- Failure to ensure that internal fire doors within the property were adequately maintained
- Failure to ensure that there was suitable fire detection within the building
- Failure to routinely test the fire alarm
- Failure to undertake repairs to the common parts of the property and ensure they were kept in a reasonable decorative condition
- Failure to tackle problems with penetrating damp within the building
- Failure to ensure that windows were adequately maintained
Scarborough Borough Council’s Housing Manager said:
“This property is one of the worst we have seen within our borough for many years. As a landlord, Mr Fixter has shown scant regard for the well-being or health and safety of his tenants, many of whom are vulnerable.
“The property has been left to fall into a filthy and dangerous condition. Essential repairs have not been undertaken and fire safety has been compromised.
“It is not acceptable that rogue landlords should exploit vulnerable people in this way and we shall not hesitate to take firm legal action when cases like this one arise.”
Councillor Bill Chatt, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Housing added:
“I am pleased but sadly not surprised with the result of this prosecution, given the sheer weight of evidence, some in the form of very telling images, which was presented to the magistrates.
“Any landlord who gets prosecuted for this kind of thing is despicable and I stand by what I said in our full council meeting this week; bad landlords deserve everything they get.”
£42k fine for ‘despicable’ landlord https://t.co/5bzFUhZePI
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) November 18, 2016