A rogue landlord with a property in St Helens has been fined over £5,000 after inspectors from the local council found serious fire safety issues within his rental property.
Darshan Sidhu, of Walsall, was fined after fire escapes in his rental property were found either to be obstructed or not of a high-enough standard.
St Helens Council took action in order to prevent potential tenants from living in unsafe conditions, following Mr Sidhu’s failure to comply with an improvement notice.
The judge at Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens Magistrates’ Court described the living conditions for tenants as, ‘miserable.’
Mr Sidhu pleaded guilty by post for failing to comply with HMO regulations. The judge also noted that this was a commercial enterprise and that Mr Sidhu would have made a substantial profit on his HMO.
This case was categorised as one of high culpability, as a result of the commercial profit gained. It was also classed as high risk, given the substantial difficulty that tenants would have had leaving a property in the event of a fire.
Rogue landlord fined over £5k for fire safety negligence
As a result of his negligence, Sidhu was ordered to pay a total of £5,032, including a fine, costs and a victim surcharge.
Talking on the outcome, St Helens Council’s strategic director of people services, Mike Wyatt noted: ‘The majority of St Helens landlords are responsible and provide good quality and safe accommodation.’
“Unfortunately, as in this case, not all landlords follow their example and the accommodation they provide is extremely poor and hazardous to the health and wellbeing of tenants.’
Concluding, Mr Wyatt said: ‘The council enforces the law to make sure tenant’s health and safety welfare is protected, and will take formal action against landlords who don’t comply.I would encourage landlords to contact the council to seek any advice and ensure compliance with legal requirements.’