Landlords In Court Over Breaches Of Health And Safety Law

Fire safety breaches in HMO

Landlord John Ellis of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, was fined £5000 at Lincoln Magistrate’s Court after admitting nine breaches of fire safety rules at three houses in multiple occupation (HMO). The homes did not have electrical safety certificates, and smoke alarms failed to work. In one home, the front door could not be opened from the inside.

Breach of gas safety legislation

Landlord Michael Jones was ordered to pay fines of £16,000 and costs of £1,500 at Plymouth Magistrates Court for failing to maintain a gas boiler at a privately rented home in the city. Jones of Harrow Weald, North London, pleaded guilty to breaching two gas safety regulations.

Failure to have an HMO licence and breach of health and safety regulations

A London council is helping HMO tenants reclaim 12 months’ rent after their landlord was convicted of breaking fire and health and safety regulations in a home he has let without a licence since 2009. Landlord Alan Lempriere was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,916 after Hammersmith Magistrates heard the property had no gas or electrical safety certificates, no working fire alarms, and no protected fire escape route and suffered from bad damp problems. Hammersmith and Fulham Council inspected the HMO after forcing entry with a warrant, as Lempriere had ignored repeated requests for housing officers to visit the home.

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Fire Safety

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (known as the FSO) introduced duties regarding fire safety in the common areas of HMOs, flats and maisonettes. The task is placed on the responsible person, who must carry out a fire risk assessment and take specific action to minimise fire risk in the common parts. Section 1 of the Fire Safety Act 2021 commenced in Wales on 1 October 2021.

Duties of the Manager of an HMO

The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 place specific duties on the manager of an HMO

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Special requirements apply to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), which place special responsibilities on landlords and agents.