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Landlord fined for allowing tenants to live in property deemed ‘unfit for purpose’

A rogue landlord who allowed a family to live in a house described as “unfit for human habitation” has been fined £11,000.

The house on Webster Road in the Wavertree area of Liverpool featured a number of safety hazards, including missing smoke alarms and a missing lock on the back door that could have endangered the safety of the tenants.

Liverpool Magistrates' Court also heard how the family of four were being rained on in their own kitchen because of a large hole in the ceiling.

Complaints about the home were first raised by the family in November 2017 but the landlord failed to take any action despite multiple attempts to contact them by Liverpool City Council.

The landlord, Imperial Property Services Limited, has now been hit with an £11.000 fine after a judge ruled the unlicensed property “unfit for purpose”.

District Judge Andrew Shaw, sentencing the firm, fined Imperial Property Services Limited £10,000, in addition to costs of £826 and a victim surcharge of £180.

Cllr Lynnie Hinnigan, deputy mayor and cabinet member for housing, said: “This is a shocking case of a landlord who has housed a family in appalling conditions and flagrantly disregarded the law.

“It is absolutely shameful that this company believes it is acceptable to rent out a property which is in this condition, placing a young family in an unsafe environment not fit for human habitation.

“This case demonstrates clearly the value of our Landlord Licensing scheme in bringing to book those who are not providing decent quality homes in the private rented sector.”

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    Why no mention of the director / owner ? hiding behind a company name again, Mr James Andrew Deus age 55, easy to find on companies house web site, name and shame these rouge landlords for the sake of the rest of us.

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    • 12 February 2019 14:12 PM

    If it is made so easy for tenants to make what could be vexatious claims then many LL rogue or otherwise will just consider it not worth the bother of letting out sub-standard properties.
    They will be sold and the tenants removed.
    Where then do the now homeless tenants go!?
    Everyone knows that are many hundreds of thousands of sub-standard properties.
    It is simply unrealistic to expect them to be upgraded to what might be considered a decent standard.
    Yes of course they should be upgraded but the threat of a charge for every complaint a tenant makes means it pointless for even a rogue LL to let a property.
    So even these rogue LL will sell up.
    The risk of fines etc is now a very real one and makes even letting a defective property not worth the bother.
    LL with such sub-standard properties will just take the pragmatic view that this particular game is over and move to invest in properties which won't attract vexatious claims.
    This will result in millions of homeless tenants.
    It is just a simple fact that much of the UK housing stock especially in the North is of degraded quality and needs substantial investment to make them economically viable from a lettings perspective.
    The payback from LL carrying out these improvements would take decades to achieve.
    In most cases it would be more cost effective for these properties to be returned to the private residential homeowner market and let the homeowners invest their time and money in achieving the necessary improvements.
    Life is being made intolerable for LL to bother with retaining dud properties.
    In most cases it is more productive for the LL to just get rid of the problem properties.
    Of course these problems are compounded by the ever continuing flood of new regulations.
    It has got to the stage where even being a rogue LL isn't worth a candle!!!
    What I want to know is where all the tenants in these defective properties will go once the LL has sold up?
    It is a fact that very few of these dud properties will ever achieve EPC C status which is required in 10 years time.
    LL would therefore do well just to get shot of these problem properties to the homeowner market.
    Let them spend their time and money on doing them up.
    Property prices are going nowhere in the next ten years.
    LL should be able to sell these dud properties to homeowners who will waste their time and money on refurbishing them and then they will inevitably sell whereupon a LL could buy at almost the same price as they sold for but with all the necessary works having been carried out.
    If I was buying a property which wasn't EPC C status
    I would require an immediate discount of about £15000 to cover all the expenditure that would be required and covering void periods.
    Perhaps all these circumstances will allow aspirant homeowners to buy these dud properties to get on the housing ladder.
    For tenants things will be very tough.
    I have no idea where they will be housed as all the dud properties are sold to homeowners few of whom will be former tenants.

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    I am going to defend the LL in Wavertree an area I used to know not that it matters. They were being rained on in the Kitchen ? more likely being rained on from the Bathroom above being misused by the Tenant family, (note no mention of leaking roof). Missing Smoke Alarms come on now play the game we know the Tenant removed them, I'll give you 10 to 1 on that. Lock missing on the back door who removed it ?. Licensing Schemes or other Regulations not going to help any of this, the Council already had all the powers they needed as far back as 1992 where by they could take any action they wanted against Private LL's if there was a complaint, I have that in writing, so there was never any need for a Licensing Scheme only to make soft money for nothing. The biggest damage was done by excluding the LL from the Property so as to make sure he can't know whats happening then turn around and fine him for the damage caused by Regulation. I have some occupants refusing me entry but they are not even my Tenants and shouldn't be there. I like the bit about allowing the Family to live there, he has no choice he cannot put them out, so how does he not allow them to live there.

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