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Landlord handed a hefty fine for letting hazardous property

A rogue landlord has been ordered to pay more than £17,000 for renting out an unsafe house in Ipswich, which posed significant fire risks to the tenants.

Landlord John Perry failed to carry out various safety improvements at the house in Hilton Road, IP3, despite several requests from Ipswich Borough Council.

Perry, who owns 18 buy-to-let properties, attempted to convince the court that the rental property in Ipswich was not officially an HMO because some of the tenants were related and therefore he should not have been required to carry out repairs.

Following an inspection by an environmental health officer, Ipswich Borough required Perry to fit mains wire smoke and heat detection to the property; provide a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen; change the locks on the final exit doors to prevent the occupants from having to use a key to escape in an emergency; and provide the council with the most recent gas safety certificate and electrical installation condition report.

But Perry, of Lancaster Green, Hemswell Cliff, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, failed to take the action required and was served with an Improvement Notice.

A hearing at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court found him guilty of failing to comply and he was fined £6,000 and the council were awarded costs of £11,306 – a total of £17,306.

A council spokesman said: “The council aims to work with private landlords to ensure their tenants live in a safe and decent home.

“We made several attempts to work with Mr Perry to get the works done and in the end had no option but to seek enforcement action through the courts.

“The sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences and should demonstrate to landlords that the council will take appropriate steps to secure compliance with housing law.”

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