With the new academic year upon us, a letting agency has been told to pay in excess of £12,000 in fines and court costs after being found guilty of seven charges of failing to carry out repairs to a student property.
Leicester City magistrates found IPS Ltd guilty of failing to adhere to regulations relating to a property in the Highfields area of the city, which was occupied by seven people.
The Leicester Mercury says that the firm was fined £750 for each individual charge, in addition to £7,000 costs and a £75 victim surcharge. Over a two-day hearing, IPS Ltd pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Lawyers for the local council argued that IPS was the managing agent for the property and took 10% of the rent accrued per month. In addition, the council said that the firm was responsible for dealing with maintenance and repairs.
Some of the main causes of concern highlighted by the tenants included a damaged fire door, stained, damp and cracked plaster, a faulty lock, broken extractor fan and faults with showers and a broken bedroom door.
Leicester City Council got involved in February and March of 2014, taking photographs of the problem areas, alongside distributing letters to the company and the owner of the house.
‘The landlord did get the work done, but IPS denied they were in management-they said they were just rent collectors,’ a lawyer acting on behalf of the council told the court.
In addition to being £1,500 for failing to apply for a multiple occupation licence , the landlord was fined £500 for failing to show his contact information in his property.
Two of the tenants residing in the property said when the moved into the house than they were told they should notify IPS (Leicester) Ltd should any repairs or maintenance be required. This claim was denied in court by one of the company’s representatives.