A council took control of a private rented home after a fire revealed eight tenants were living in an unlicensed and unsafe HMO (house in multiple occupation).
Plymouth City Council took over the HMO when they found the home was overcrowded, had no running water, poor bathroom facilities and was generally in a bad state of repair.
Gas engineer ignored boiler defects
Gas engineer Derek Hall, 55, put tenants at risk in a buy to let home by failing to alert the landlord to safety hazards while inspecting a boiler.
A tenant later complained of carbon monoxide poisoning and an investigation revealed Hall had noticed the defects but not bothered to repair them or tell the tenants or landlord.
Hall, of Malthouse Close, Blunsdon, Swindon, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £646 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of gas safety regulations at Cheltenham Magistrates Court.
Estate agent failed to repair homes
Estate agent Alexander Cooper was fined £2,000 with costs of £600 for failing to properly maintain rented homes he managed for landlords.
Cooper, of Mortimers Estate Agents, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to two offences of ignoring home improvement notices at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court.
The council’s Private Sector Housing Manager Jane Harrison said: “This is the first time we have prosecuted an estate agent for failing to maintain property. Because they take the rent and control the property, they are liable for prosecution if they don’t ensure required repairs are carried out.”
The court heard the charges involved repairs to ceilings, doors and windows at the homes
Blocked fire escapes
Latif Rehman, 55, of Lordswood Road, Birmingham, West Midlands, was fined £11,200 with costs of £845 after admitting 14 offences relating to HMO licensing and management offences at Dudley Magistrates Court.
The court heard the shared house had no licence and an inspection revealed blocked fire escapes and other fire hazards.