Tenant was living in a 'fire trap'
A landlord has been fined more than
₤18,000 for leaving her tenant living in what a judge described as a 'fire
trap.' At Liverpool Magistrates Court earlier this month, Emma Louise Bell of Denna
Hall Lane, Burton and her company Denna Developments Limited were found guilty
of an offence of not complying with a Prohibition Order served under Section 32
of the Housing Act 2004.
Wirral Council's Selective Licensing team served the notice requesting
improvements relating to fire safety issues to a ground floor flat of a 3 storey
property, in Borough Road, Seacombe.
However, Mrs Bell and her company failed to comply with the notice without a
reasonable excuse. In finding both Mrs Bell and her company Denna Developments
Limited guilty of the offence after a trial District Judge Wendy Lloyd stated:-
"It is not a charitable act to keep a woman in a fire trap." Mrs Bell was ordered to pay ₤18,120 in fines and costs.
Cllr George Davies, Cabinet Member for Housing said:- "Safe residential
accommodation is a basic right essential to us all. We take seriously any breach
of the Housing Act and bring to account anyone who flouts it."
The Selective Licensing scheme was introduced in Wirral, on 1 July 2015, and so
far over 1,300 properties have been licensed which represents over 99% of known
The majority of landlords understand that the objectives of the scheme are to
improve poor property conditions and management standards in the private rented
sector. Licences holders are required to show basic safety checks have been
carried out and that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.
The prosecution brought against Mrs Bell is the latest of a number of successful
cases brought before the Courts, by Wirral's Selective Licensing Team.
Cllr Davies added:- "The Council will be undertaking checks on all
licensed properties under the scheme to ensure that they meet the required
reasonable standards and comply with license conditions in order that the health
and safety of often vulnerable tenants are protected.
The action taken in cases such as this reinforces the message that landlords
will be held accountable to their duties and must carry out works requested by
the Council. The Selective Licensing team will continue to investigate and
prosecute owners and managing agents of privately rented accommodation who
attempt to evade their responsibilities in applying for the necessary licences
or failing to ensure their properties are safe for their tenants to live in."