A letting agency which is also an HMO landlord has been fined £50,000 after admitting 18 offences relating in particular to fire safety.
Lettings of London Ltd, which his based in a business park in South Barnet, North London, has been fined £42,596 and told to pay costs of £10,626 plus a victim surcharge of £170 over two HMOs it operated in Hatfield, Hertfordshire that council officers inspected last year following complaints.
The properties on Goldings Crescent were found to lack working fire alarms or fire blankets, broken self-closing fire doors and emergency lighting and several dangerous features including loose stonework and rusted metal handrails.
The huge fine, which is the second of its kind to be charged by the council this year against an HMO landlord, was levied despite Lettings of London claiming at Stevenage Magistrates Court that the properties were in an overall good state of repair and regularly inspected.
“These were serious breaches of the law and could have led to severe injury or worse,” said Simone Russell, corporate director at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (left).
“Everyone should feel confident when renting a in Welwyn Hatfield and it’s important that we send a clear message to the small number of landlords who compromise the safety of their tenants – we will always act to protect our residents.”
The council runs PAL, a voluntary accreditation scheme for lettings agents and landlords established in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, through which tenants can find properties available to rent from accredited providers.