A landlord has been prosecuted letting his property in Leamington without a licence for a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
On January 23 at Nuneaton Magistrates Court, Devinder Punian, was prosecuted for letting property on Clarendon Avenue without the necessary HMO licence.
Investigations led by Warwick District Council in July 2017 revealed that Mr Punian was not only renting the house to five individuals without being licensed, but was also putting the safety of his tenants at risk.
The Court heard that during an inspection of the property, council officers discovered that the fire alarm system was defective and had not worked properly for some time.
In addition a fire door leading into the kitchen had been removed, leaving residents on the upper floor exposed to a fire risk.
Magistrates also learned of a number of other maintenance issues in the house which included defective emergency lighting, broken self-closing devices, the absence of a handrail, damp issues and accumulations of combustible materials and external tripping hazards.
The landlord was also unable, on request, to produce an electrical installation certificate.
Mr Punian was fined £18,894.50 including costs and victim surcharge.
Peter Phillips, Warwick District Council’s portfolio holder for housing services said: “The vast majority of landlords work well with the council and provide good quality accommodation.
“However in cases where tenants’ health and safety is put at risk we will not hesitate to apply the full force of the law.
“The private sector housing team works hard to safeguard vulnerable tenants and I encourage all landlords and tenants who require advice, help or support to make contact with them.”
Over the past few months Mr Punian has been working with the council and has undertaken the necessary health and safety work to his property.
As a result he has now been issued with an HMO licence.