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Landlord fined for breaches in rented property laws

A landlord responsible for the management of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has been fined a total of £5,000 for various deficiencies present within the dwelling.

Penalties were imposed by the borough council after the landlord failed to meet conditions following a number of visits, the majority in joint partnership with Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue and Immigration Enforcement (as well as independent visits from Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and Local Authority Support).

A number of deficiencies relating to the condition of the property, located in Paddock Grove, Boston, were observed under section 234 of the Housing Act 2004 relating to the management of HMO's. These included; the manager's failure to display their details in a prominent position within the HMO, an inappropriate fire detection system and failure to ensure that the common areas were kept free from obstruction and maintained in a safe working condition.

After informal attempts at resolution failed with the landlord, a financial penalty was served to him on the 22nd of June 2022. The total amount payable is £5,000 and does not preclude further enforcement action from occurring.

The council conducts proactive inspections to ensure that all properties within their borough/district are safe and habitable for tenants. If properties do not meet the required standards, the council has powers under various pieces of legislation to ensure that the necessary works are carried out.

Councillor John Baxter, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Boston Borough Council, said: "Our priority is to raise standards in more privately rented homes in the borough and make sure that tenants in the sector can live in safe, healthy and well-managed homes.

"When landlords do not engage to resolve problems, we will take further action. Under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 where a landlord receives two or more civil penalties over a 12 month period, local housing authorities may include that person's details in the database of rogue landlords and property agents.

"This landlord has put residents at risk by failing to maintain proper safety standards of a HMO, which given the fact that such premises pose higher likelihoods of any potential harm outcome, also put the residents at a heightened risk. Where landlords fail their responsibilities to their tenants, we will not hesitate to take action."

Area Manager, Dan Moss from Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue, said: "We hope this highlights the importance of safety issues and acts as a reminder to landlords that they must comply with the law.

"We'll continue to work with all partners to keep our communities safe and well, and improve home safety standards across the county."