Landlord in Boston is fined for breaching rented property laws on HMO
Penalties were imposed by Boston Borough Council after the landlord failed to meet conditions following a number of visits, the majority in joint partnership with police, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and Immigration Enforcement – as well as independent visits from Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and Local Authority Support.
A spokesperson for the council said: “A number of deficiencies relating to the condition of the property, located in Paddock Grove, 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.
"The polystyrene ceiling tiles in the communal areas pose a severe fire hazard due to lack of fire separation and the combustible nature of the materials. They are also extremely likely to emit hazardous chemicals within smoke in the event of a fire. The regulation(s) breached were to ensure that communal areas were kept safe and maintained. These ceiling tiles fall below the minimum standards expected within residential accommodation.
“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 says it 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.
Coun John Baxter, portfolio holder for housing at the 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.”