Ipswich landlord John Perry ordered to pay £17,000 after failing to do safety work
PUBLISHED: 22:38 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 22:38 20 April 2017
A landlord has been ordered to pay fines and costs of more than £17,000 after failing to carry out safety works at one of his Ipswich properties.
John Edward Perry tried to persuade the court that the house in Hilton Road was not officially a house in multiple occupation (HMO) because some of the tenants were related and therefore he should not have to carry out repairs.
After an inspection by an environmental health officer, Ipswich Borough required Perry to fit mains wire smoke and heat detection to the property; provide a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen; change the locks on the final exit doors to prevent the occupants from having to use a key to escape in an emergency; and furnish the council with the most recent gas safety certificate and electrical installation condition report.
He was also asked to display his contact details in a prominent position so occupants could contact him to report repair issues or any emergency.
Perry, of Lancaster Green, Hemswell Cliff, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, failed to take the action required and was served with an Improvement Notice.
A hearing at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court found him guilty of failing to comply and he was fined £6,000 and the council were awarded costs of £11,306 – a total of £17,306.
Perry claimed that he never intended for the property to be an HMO and that he found it difficult to manage the property as he lives in Lincolnshire.
However, District Judge Celia Dawson stated that she did not accept Perry’s explanation that he found it difficult to manage the property as he lives in Lincolnshire.
She claimed most of his property portfolio was in Ipswich (14 out of 18 properties). He had frequent contact from the council to rectify the issues and avoid prosecution for minor works.
A council spokesman said: “The council aims to work with private landlords to ensure their tenants live in a safe and decent home.
“We made several attempts to work with Mr Perry to get the works done and in the end had no option but to seek enforcement action through the courts.
“The sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences and should demonstrate to landlords that the council will take appropriate steps to secure compliance with housing law.”