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Buy to let owner accused of creating 'miserable' living conditions

A landlord who exposed tenants to “miserable” living conditions because of fire safety hazards has been prosecuted by a local authority. 

The landlord pleaded guilty by post at Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens Magistrates’ Court on for failing to comply with Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations.

Fire escapes at his property were found to be obstructed and not of a well maintained standard between 2014 and 2016 under the Housing Act 2004. 

On sentencing, the judge told the court how St Helen’s council couldn’t have been any clearer in telling the landlord what work was required by him in the HMO – which was described by the judge as “miserable living conditions” - and declared that landlords should be doing everything possible for their tenants.

The District Judge also stated that this was a commercial enterprise and that the landlord would have made a considerable profit on the HMO.

The offence was categorised as one of high culpability, given the commercial profit gained, and one of high risk, given the difficulties the tenants would have had escaping from the property in the event of a fire.

The landlord was ordered to pay a total of £5,032 which included a fine, costs and victim surcharge.

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