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Landlords hit with £27k fine for HMO failures

Two landlords in Leamington Spa in the West Midlands have been fined £27,000 for failing to manage a house in multiple occupation.

Warwick District Council issued the fine to Rajvir Rai and Bahjno Rai for a number of offences relating to a four story property which is split into four bedsits, including failing to manage the property properly.

The landlords were fined at Nuneaton Justice Centre after the court heard that an inspection made by Environmental Health earlier this year found there to be no working fire alarms and inadequate means of escape for tenants in the event of a fire. 

The Environmental Health officers also commented that the building was in 'very poor condition'. 

Many of the doors in the building were not fire doors and there was only one smoke detector in the entire building, which was not operational.

When asked, the landlords were also unable to provide a current Gas Safety Certificate.

Magistrates told the landlords that the offences were very serious and that their failure to provide and maintain fire precautions placed tenants’ lives in danger, the Leamington Courier reports. 

Councillor Peter Phillips, housing portfolio holder for the district council commented: “The vast majority of landlords work well with the council and provide good quality accommodation."

He said the situation in Leamington could have had a 'tragic outcome'. 

“Our officers will not hesitate to prosecute where tenants’ health and safety is at risk and landlords blatantly disregard the law,” he added.

“The Private Sector Housing Team works hard to safeguard vulnerable tenants in the sector and I encourage all landlords and tenants who require advice, help or support to contact the team.”

Later this week it will become a legal requirement for landlords to install smoke detectors on every floor of their property where someone is living and fit a Carbon Monoxide alarm in any room where there is a solid fuel-burning appliance.

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