Landlord fine reduced

A landlord who failed to provide proper heating and fire alarms for his tenants has had a £13,000 fine reduced on appeal, on the basis of illness.
Environmental health officers repeatedly attempted to contact landlord Philip Dean in relation to the negligible condition of five flats in Bolton.
Contact details were not displayed in communal areas and fire alarms did not function. The electric fire was not maintained and he outside area was full of broken glass. Electric certificates were not supplied. Dean failed to comply with an improvement notice instructing him to carry out the necessary work on his property.
Attention to the poor state of the property was alerted after a fire occurred in one of the flats and firefighters noticed that one of the smoke alarms was not working. Even the threat of prosecution failed to stimulate the 70 year old landlord to make improvements.
Dean pleaded guilty to the offences in front of Bolton Magistrates Court on the 11th August last year, and was subsequently fined £13,000.
However, an appeal from Jonathan Lally, representing Dean, argued that the fine was excessive. He explained that Dean had been ill and later realised that he should have instead delegated responsibility of his rental properties.
Lally said: ‘No sooner had he fixed one problem caused by the tenants than there would be another one. He has learned his lesson, but this is not an easy property to manage.’
It was agreed that the fine was excessive and it was reduced to just £7,000.
Recorder Michael Murray, who granted the reduction in the fine, explained: ‘Owning property is a privilege but it carries with it a substantial responsibility, which Mr Dean did not fulfil. Knowing he had a responsibility to keep this property in good order he neglected that responsibility without good cause.’
Baldwin was sentenced to a 12 month supervision order and was issued with a two month curfew between 7pm and 7am. He was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation.

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