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HMO firm to pay £30,000 after blocking fire exit with.... shipping container

liverpool fine

A property management company has been fined £30,000 after an escape route at its HMO was found to be padlocked shut and blocked by a large shipping container.

Liverpool Council’s private sector housing service visited the property on Belmont Drive, Kensington (main picture), last January following a tenant complaint, where inspectors discovered that there was no safe secondary means of escape because the back gate was padlocked and obstructed.

Nine fire doors were also found to be in bad repair while there were holes and gaps in the floor and walls of several rooms, compromising compartmentation and fire safety.

At a sentencing hearing at Wirral Magistrates Court, Newsham Park Estates Ltd admitted four breaches of HMO management regulations due to serious issues with tenant safety.


It was fined £4,500 relating to the padlocked gate, £4,500 relating to the shipping container, £10,800 for the defective fire doors, and £8,100 due to holes/gaps in the property. With costs and a victim surcharge included, this added up to £32,694.

The property has since been reinspected and the issues have been remedied.

Louise Harford (pictiured), interim director of housing, says the case clearly demonstrates that the authority will investigate and take action when there is clear evidence that landlords are not meeting their legal responsibilities.

She adds: “The action we have taken means tenants in this property are now living in much safer conditions, and the fine that has been issued sends out a really strong message to landlords who are not complying.”

Image credits: Liverpool City Council/X


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