A buy to let investor has been hit with a bill of almost £9,500 after being accused of allowing a tenant to live in a dangerous unlicensed property.
John Kildare failed to comply with an Improvement Notice issued by Liverpool council, as well as failing to apply for a licence.
The council says the house he let out had a number of problems including damp and mould, various electrical issues and missing smoke alarms.
A room was also subject to a Prohibition Order due to suspected asbestos in damaged ceiling tiles.
He pleaded not guilty at the first hearing in December but was this month found guilty in his absence at a further hearing.
District Judge Andrew Shaw described the offences as “serious” and imposed a fine of £2,000 in relation to the unlicensed offence, £3,000 in relation to the failure to comply with the Improvement Notice and awarded the council costs of £4,410.
A council statement after the most recent court hearing linked the issue to Liverpool’s dispute with the government over the city’s landlord licensing regime.
In January the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick rejected the council’s bid to get a five year extension to its scheme, provoking widespread criticism from the Labour party in the city, including Mayor Joe Anderson who described the decision as “ill-thought through and short-sighted … [putting] the lives of some of our most vulnerable tenants at risk”.
The council claims in a statement about the most recent court hearing that 70 per cent of inspected properties in Liverpool have been found to be in breach of their licence condition since the landlord licensing scheme was launched in 2015 “uncovering serious hazards such as fire risks, poor electrics and excess cold.”
The council says it has carried out over 37,000 compliance actions, issued more than 2,500 legal and fixed penalty notices and prosecuted almost 250 landlords.
It says talks are now underway about the authority submitting a revised bid.