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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-02-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Agency pleads guilty to letting sub standard accommodation

A local letting agent who managed a house in multiple occupation on Penkett Road, Wallasey, pleaded guilty at Wirral Magistrates Court for offences relating to poor management standards under the Housing Act 2004.  A representative of County Rentals Limited, who were trading as Valentines at the time, pleaded guilty on his company's behalf for failing to implement satisfactory management standards following an inspection by officers from Wirral Council. The company was ordered to pay a total of ?5,161.20 for the offences.  The court was told that in May 2016 Housing Standards Officers visited the property which was converted into 7 bedsitting rooms and found defective fire doors, blocked fire escapes, exposed live electrical wiring, plus damp and mould growth.

Cllr George Davies, Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, said:- "This is an example of how we will take the strongest possible action against those managing agents who have little or no regard for the safety and wellbeing of their tenants. We have a team dedicated to ensuring that Houses in Multiple Occupation meet certain acceptable standards and adhere to all the appropriate licenses and regulations as these often house some of the most vulnerable members of the community.  Councils have a duty to act if they are aware of hazards that could affect a tenant's health or safety and if managers fail to respond to informal advice, enforcement action will ensue. Failure to comply with housing legislation will result in court action and potentially hefty fines.  The health and safety of the occupiers in properties within the private rented sector is of paramount importance. Whilst we always try to work with landlords and managing agents and give them advice and guidance to improve property conditions, if they do not manage their properties then the Council will take enforcement action like that taken against County Rentals."


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