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Property management firm gets £30,000 bill for over-crowding

Property managers operating through a company have been ordered to pay more than £30,000 following a dawn raid that uncovered more than a dozen breaches of health and safety regulations.

Balt Properties Ltd, its managing director Vytautas Sidlauskas and manager Valdas Kakta, were each found guilty of 14 offences relating to mismanagement at Lincoln Magistrates Court this week, and fined a total of £29,090.

Magistrates described the case as “very serious” and stated that Boston-based Balt Properties Ltd had “failed in its duty to adequately protect and provide for its tenants.”

Lincoln council officers raided the company’s lettings property in March; after initially being denied entry, officers says they found “a raft of serious health and safety breaches, including broken and missing smoke alarms, loose banisters and overcrowding.”

Eight tenants shared one kitchen and bathroom, while fire escapes were blocked by furniture and doors padlocked from the outside.

The total penalty was £31,251, comprising fines totalling £29,090, victim surcharges of £211 and a contribution to the city council’s legal costs awarded in full, totalling £1,500.

“This property ... has ... inadequate fire safety, an inadequate fire warning system, an inadequate means of escape, inadequate electrical safety, inadequate hygiene and bathing facilities, overcrowding, inadequate food preparation and storage facilities, and tripping and lighting hazards in common areas of the premises” says a council spokesman.

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