An investment HMO landlord in Ipswich has been fined for failing to carry out safety works at one of his properties.
Following an inspection by environmental health a number of safety improvements were found to be required at the property to bring it up to HMO standard. These included fitting main wire smoke and heat detection, changing locks, and furnishing the council with the most recent gas safety certificate and electrical installation condition report.
The HMO landlord, based in Lincolnshire, failed to take the action required and was served with an Improvement Notice.
The landlord, John Edward Perry tried to argue in court that he should not be treated as an HMO landlord for the particular property as some of the tenants were related, and therefore he should not need to carry out the repairs.
He also claimed that he never intended for the property to be an HMO and that he found it difficult to manage the property as he lives in Lincolnshire.
However, these claims were dismissed by the district judge who stated that as 14 of 18 properties owned by the HMO landlord were in Ipswich she did not accept Perry’s explanation that he found it difficult to manage the property because of living in Lincolnshire.
Perry was found guilty of failing to comply with the improvement notice and he was fined £6,000. The council were also awarded costs of £11,306.
A spokesman for the council commented: ‘The council aims to work with private landlords to ensure their tenants live in a safe and decent home.
‘We made several attempts to work with Mr Perry to get the works done and in the end had no option but to seek enforcement action through the courts.
‘The sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences and should demonstrate to landlords that the council will take appropriate steps to secure compliance with housing law.’