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A rogue landlord has pleaded guilty to 45 charges relating to poorly maintained properties in Wirral.
Gary Fixter from Chester was prosecuted by Wirral Council under the Housing Act 2004. He was fined £32,000 and told that he must pay £13,611 in costs after he admitted to the offences at a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court.
Fixter was accused of failing to comply with improvement notices as well as breaches of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) management regulations. He also failed to produce necessary documents upon request.
The documents in question related to his ownership and management of two HMOs. One was located on on Alexandra Road in Birkenhead, the other on Rake Lane in Wallasey. Fixter also owned a self-contained flat on Grange Road, West Kirby.
The improvement notices were served when Wirral Council’s Housing Standards Team carried out inspections. The inspections found that each property was in serious disrepair. There was also evidence of inadequate property management which had seriously endangered the health of tenants putting them at risk.
The council officers also discovered various defects or hazards which rendered most of the living conditions unacceptable. This also posed a risk to the health and safety of the tenants.
The inspection also revealed serious hazards such as long term penetrating dampness. There were also defective fire alarm systems which endangered the lives of the tenants in the property through compromising their abilities to escape the building in the event of a fire. There were also dangerous and untested electrical installations which required substantial work to make them safe, something the landlord had thus far failed to do to the standard expected.
This was not Fixter’s first brush with the law through a local authority. He was first prosecuted at Scarborough Magistrates Court due to previous breaches of HMO regulations.