Landlord fined more than £31,000 for putting tenants lives at risk - The Leamington Observer

Landlord fined more than £31,000 for putting tenants lives at risk

A LANDLORD has been fined more than £31,000 after renting a property which put his tenants lives at risk.

Grzegorz Surminski had rented a six-bedroom home in St Brides Close on Leamington’s Sydenham estate through a reputable letting agents, but was subletting the property to eight sub-tenants when the property was inspected by Warwick District Council (WDC) housing officers, following a report about the state of it by one of those tenants.

Surminski had not applied for a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence for letting the property to so many tenants and had not provided safe or adequate measures for his tenants.

On inspection it was found there was no working smoke detection, no fire doors in the property, no fire blanket in the kitchen or fire extinguishers in the property – all legal requirements for an HMO property.

As well as the lack of fire safety provisions, there were numerous repair issues also found including unsafe electrics, lack of a working shower and broken floor tiles in the bathroom.

A tenant was also provided with a mouldy mattress to sleep on, and there were large accumulations of rubbish in the rear garden as well as insufficient wheelie bins for the size of the household.

Surminski was found guilty at Coventry Magistrates Court and fined a total of £30,000 for three seperate offences – for failing to apply for a HMO license, failing to comply with an Improvement Notice for the fire safety provisions and for failing to comply with the HMO Management Regulations

Surminski also received a £1,000 fine for failure to provide written information to the council regarding the ownership and occupation details of the property. He was also ordered to pay a £150 victim surcharge and £150 costs.

The property has since been vacated and is now empty.

WDC housing spokesman Coun Jan Matecki said: “This landlord has flouted the laws which are there to protect the most vulnerable members of society who were placed at serious risks to their health and safety.

“It is reassuring that the courts recognise the gravity of these offences, and it is hoped that the level of fine handed out will be a strong deterrent to others who may be tempted to let a property in this way.”

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