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A criminal landlord has been hit with a huge fine of £35,000 after being found guilty of breaching House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) management regulations.
Landlord David Greene, 64, was prosecuted at Birmingham Magistrates Court on August 30. The rental property that he was letting was described by council officers as the ‘worst they had seen in the last 10 years.’
The landlord had owned a three-storey property, which included ten self-contained flats, since 1986. He pleaded guilty to breaching HMO regulations through his rental property.
Birmingham Council officers visited the building and found smoke detectors hanging form the ceiling, as well as poorly fitted fire doors. There were also blocked fire exits which would have seriously hindered tenants’ opportunity to escape in a fire, rendering the property a serious danger for human habitation. There were also broken and boarded up windows. The tenants who lived in the building had no access to hot water or heating. The front and rear doors of the building were insecure, leaving the property open to the elements which would have caused real issues in winter.
The council had attempted to contact Greene on several occasions to resolve the poor conditions. However, he neglected his responsibilities as a landlord and as a result and put the lives of his vulnerable tenants in danger.
As a counter argument, Greene claimed that he had issues gaining access to the flats. However, he was still charged with the huge fine of £35,000 as well as costs of £1,941 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council, Councillor Sharon Thompson, spoke out about the huge fine, saying: ‘Mr Greene has shown a callous disregard for his responsibilities as a landlord. This fine sends out a message to all landlords who ignore the law that Birmingham City Council will pursue anyone who lets out substandard accommodation.’