A landlord who let ‘hazardous’ properties in Leyland has been fined £20,000.
South Ribble Borough Council applied for the case to be heard at Preston Magistrates Court after the firm, Leyland Estates Ltd, ignored repeated calls for action.
The court heard how Housing Enforcement Officers from the authority had inspected two properties in Stanifield Lane and Hough Lane and reported a number of hazards.
These included inadequate heating provision, inadequate and dangerous electricity supply, inadequate cooking facilities and no fire alarms or means of escape in an emergency.
Evidence presented in the case suggested that initial talks to encourage the firm, of Queens Road, Blackburn, to undertake remedial work, failed to result in action and the Council had served Prohibition Orders – meaning that nobody could live at the property until it was brought up to the required standard.
Despite the order being in place, Preston Magistrates heard how in one case, Leyland Estates Ltd re-let the property to a new tenant.
The company was prosecuted for non-compliance with the prohibition orders and non-compliance to requests for information in respect of the properties.
It was found guilty in its absence and ordered to pay £5,000 for each offence committed – a total of £20,000.
Councillor Jacqui Mort, South Ribble’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Health, Safety and Wellbeing, said: “Our Environmental Health officers will always work with landlords to offer support where necessary to help them improve the standards of housing within our borough.
“We have a duty to ensure that the properties are safe for the residents living there, and we take that duty extremely seriously.
“When landlords ignore our requests and put their tenant’s health and wellbeing at risk, we will always take action.
“We welcome the significant fines and hope they will serve as a warning to other landlords.”
Housing Enforcement Officers at the Council inspect around 200 properties each year for housing defects.
In the majority of cases any hazards identified by officers are dealt with by landlords in a timely manner, however when this does not happen and the informal route fails, the Council can and will take enforcement action against the landlords.