LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Cornwall HMO landlords fined

Cornwall HMO landlords fined

Two Cornwall landlords have been fined nearly £8,000 after their property failed numerous safety standards.

Michelle and Stacey Bathe, of Crediton in Devon, were prosecuted over the state of their rented house in Trebarwith Crescent in Newquay by Cornwall Council's private sector housing team.

An unannounced inspection was carried out in May 2013 after Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service voiced concerns that the fire alarm was not working in the property, which was classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Numerous breaches of HMO regulations were identified and the pair were informed of them in writing. However, they failed to carry out the necessary works to make the property comply with health and safety regulations in the given time frame.

They did not provide valid gas and electrical safety certificates, and maintain appropriate fire precautions. In addition the property was in general disrepair, as were the communal areas and garden.

The Bathes did not attend the hearing at Truro Magistrates Court on 17 January and the case was heard in their absence. They were each fined £3,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120, while costs of £1,873.52 were awarded to Cornwall Council.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said: "As indicated by this case, there are landlords who flout the law by failing to ensure their properties are safe.

"Other Cornwall landlords who operate in this way can rest assured that in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of tenants in private rented accommodation, the private sector housing team will not hesitate to take action against irresponsible landlords."

A council spokesman added it was eager to ensure tenants received a better deal for their money in Cornwall. To make this happen, it wanted to improve property standards in the private rented sector, identify rogue landlords and take appropriate steps to drive them out of the area.