Monday 24th June 2019

Rogue landlord fined almost £60,000 for putting vulnerable bedsit tenants at risk

A rogue landlord has been fined £55,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £2,989.67 as well as a victim surcharge of £170 after putting vulnerable bedsit tenants at risk.

Heather Jackson, 55, allowed tenants to occupy bedsits in Southport, despite the fact that the building had leaking roof and faulty fire alarms.     

Jackson, who acquired the property in 2013, created 16 bedsits in total.

But when council inspectors visited the property with police in December last year they discovered that Jackson did not have a license for such housing. She also failed to provide evidence of gas safety records.

Council inspectors found the fire alarms had been deactivated, and escape routes were blocked, a fire exit corridor had been converted into a makeshift kitchen, while a fire door had been locked shut. 

Jackson pleaded guilty to 12 housing standards offences at South Sefton magistrates court.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “HMO legislation is put in place to help protect tenants and also serves to ensure landlords comply with all rules and regulations.

“As seen today, this was clearly not the case and we welcome the outcome at court and the substantial fines imposed.

“We want to send a clear message to the small number of landlords who compromise the safety of their tenants that this is not acceptable and can end up in a court case.

“As proved today, large fines will be imposed by the courts and we will always act to protect our residents.”

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