Grimsby

Letting agent fined over dangerous property

A letting agent in Grimsby has been fined over £1,500 for housing offences after vulnerable people were found to be sharing a property in a dangerous condition.

The £1,700 court bill was issued to Mayfair Estate Agents (Grimsby) Ltd after a successful prosecution by North East Lincolnshire Council.

The letting agents were prosecuted and pleaded guilty to five offences under the housing act and handed fines of £800.

Additional costs of £820 and a victim surcharge of £80 meant the overall costs incurred to the plaintiff totalled £1,700.

The council’s housing enforcement officers, supported by Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, inspected a property managed by Mayfair in 2017, located on Cleethorpe Road in Grimsby.

Officers found a number of vulnerable people sharing a property in a dangerous condition and the home failed to meet some of the basic fire safety standards for a house of multiple occupancy (HMO).

The breaches included:

  • No evidence that fire alarms worked or had been tested recently
  • Damage to fire doors and holes in the communal area ceiling
  • No working emergency lighting to the communal areas
  • No emergency contact details for the manager or owner of the property
  • Combustible materials obstructing the emergency escape routes

Portfolio holder for housing, Councillor Peter Wheatley, said: “Landlords have a legal obligation to follow the letter of the law when it comes to looking after tenants and maintaining a property.

“Unlicensed and poorly maintained houses are unacceptable and take advantage of often-vulnerable tenants. They can be exploitative and quite frankly they could put people’s lives at risk.

“We want to work with landlords in our area to make sure they are meeting the high standards set out by the law.

“If landlords are unsure of what they need to be doing for their tenants, they need to get in touch with our housing team.”