Two landlords in Wolverhampton have pleaded guilty to several housing failures.
The landlords, Joginder and Rashpal Bains, who own 100 properties in the Black Country, managed a building where all of the tenants on the top floor had to be evacuated by social services.
This was due to deteriorating ceilings and communal lighting being wired through individual flats, which meant that electricity and heating would cut out and there was no emergency lighting.
The married couple run a firm named R&J Investments, and each pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to comply with housing management regulations at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court.
Council officers inspected the couple's properties and the court heard that it became clear that the landlord were not keeping on top of safety issues.
"The council were concerned about the properties owned by the defendants because they have a history of non-compliance with the authority,” said Mrs Patricia Brown, who was prosecuting.
"At the property where tenants were forced to move out, there was no emergency lighting working and communal lighting was wired through the electricity supplies for each separate flat in the property.”
"When a tenant fell behind on payments for his electricity bill, a pregnant tenant on the top floor had to walk down the stairs in the dark.
"At various times on the bottom floor, there was no electricity or heating and the ceiling looked like it had deteriorated over many years.
It is understood that neither Mr nor Mrs Bains actively looked after their properties, and that their nephew looked after day-to-day maintenance issues.
However, the Express and Star reports that the pair admitted during an interview with authorities that he wasn't fully trained to perform his duties and that ultimately, responsibility fell to them.
The case was adjourned by chief magistrate Norma Jukes after it was decided the court would need to see up-to-date accounts for R&J investments and will resume on October 13.
Earlier this week, the Local Government Association called for prison sentences to be handed out to criminal landlords as too many fines had become 'palrty'.
It backed up its claims with a YouGov survey in which 71% of the public agreed that landlords who commit the worst housing offences should face custodial sentences.
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