Leamington landlords have been fined £27,000 for failing to properly manage a multiple occupation property.
As part of a continuing clampdown by Warwick District Council, Rajvir Rai and Bhajno Rai, landlords of 8a Victoria Terrace - a four storey property occupied as four bedsits - have been fined a total of £27,472 including costs for failing to properly manage the property.
Magistrates at Nuneaton Justice Centre heard that a routine inspection by Environmental Health officers in January found there to be no working fire alarms and inadequate means of escape.
The bedsits were located above the ‘Next Stop’ newsagents, and on arrival officers found that the building was in a very poor condition.
Many of the doors to the rooms were not fire doors and only one smoke detector was found in the entire building, which was not operational.
The door to the kitchen had been removed, exposing tenants to an imminent risk.
An Emergency Prohibition Order was narrowly avoided when the landlord was told to fit a fire door to the kitchen and install a series of radio-linked detectors as an interim measure.
The landlords were also unable to provide a current Gas Safety Certificate for the gas boiler.
Before imposing the fine magistrates told the landlords that the offences were very serious in that their failures to provide and maintain fire precautions placed tenants’ lives in danger, and it was only when threatened with emergency closure that certain works were undertaken.
Cllr Peter Phillips, housing portfolio holder for the district council said: “The vast majority of landlords work well with the council and provide good quality accommodation.
“The situation at 8a Victoria Terrace could easily have had a tragic outcome.
“Our officers will not hesitate to prosecute where tenants’ health and safety is at risk and landlords blatantly disregard the law.
“The Private Sector Housing Team works hard to safeguard vulnerable tenants in the sector and I encourage all landlords and tenants who require advice, help or support to contact the team.”