A rogue landlord has been fined and ordered to pay more than £58,000 after putting vulnerable bedsit tenants at risk.
55-year-old Heather Jackson allowed tenants to occupy 16 bedsits which she created in a Southport property, despite not having a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence and the building being in shoddy condition with a leaking roof and faulty fire alarms.
Council inspectors visited the property with police in December last year and found the fire alarms had been deactivated, escape routes were blocked, a fire exit corridor had been converted into a makeshift kitchen and a fire door had been locked shut. She also failed to provide evidence of gas safety records.
Jackson pleaded guilty to 12 housing standards offences at South Sefton Magistrates Court.
A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “HMO legislation is put in place to help protect tenants and also serves to ensure landlords comply with all rules and regulations.
“As seen today, this was clearly not the case and we welcome the outcome at Court and the substantial fines imposed.
“We want to send a clear message to the small number of landlords who compromise the safety of their tenants that this is not acceptable and can end up in a court case.
“As proved today, large fines will be imposed by the courts and we will always act to protect our residents.”
ARLA Propertymark has a range of resources which break down sometimes complex legislative changes to help members comply and give them a head start in ensuring practice in perfect when it comes to their day-to-day jobs. You can access the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) Fact Sheet and much more by logging into the members area on the ARLA Propertymark website.