Landlord fined for ‘unsafe’ property
JACK COLLINS was fined £20,000 for ‘failing to protect the safety’ of tenants in his house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Beeston, Leeds.
South Leeds Life reported on the prosecution of Mr Collins, who had been ‘in court again’ after a previous prosecution, with this case covering an HMO on Sefton Avenue in the town. The prosecution was brought by Leeds City Council, with the previous case having seen him fined £14,000 for ‘similar offences’ at two other properties in the area. This time, Mr Collins stated he had been ‘unhappy’ with the quality of work undertaken by contractors.
However, he had been ‘suffering ill health’, but the magistrates at Leeds Magistrates Court found him guilty of a range of offences, including: a failure to provide information to occupiers; a failure to ensure the means of escape is kept clear; a failure to maintain an escape route in ‘good order and repair’; and a failure to maintain a fire alarm system.
Other failures included to maintain gardens in a ‘safe and tidy’ condition; to maintain the internal structure of living accommodation; and to maintain fixtures and fittings ‘in good order and repair’. Mr Collins claimed he ‘only made £18,000 profit from this property’, but the magistrates stated that ‘you own 10 properties, your business is in housing people. It’s apparent you are deficient in this role/business’, and fined him £17,500, plus costs of £,2446 and a £170 victim surcharge.