Landlord fined after renting out ‘potential death trap’

Published: 30/05/2013

A recent court case has highlighted the legal responsibilities a landlord is required to uphold when letting property and the subsequent consequences of neglecting such duties.

The case involved London-based landlord, Elizabeth Johnson, who was fined £3000 after renting out a property with serious safety hazards including inadequate heating, penetrating damp, dangerous electrics and poor fire safety.

Johnson was served with a prohibition order which banned her from renting the property further until ‘vital safety improvements’ had been made.

However nine months later, tenants were still residing in the property. As a result she was fined £3000 for breaching the prohibition order and ordered to pay additional council costs amounting to £1300.

GW LET solicitor, Rob Denman, believe this case could act as a wake-up call for fellow landlords:

“By law landlords must ensure their properties are safe. It is therefore a legal requirement to have an annual gas safety certificate for all gas appliances. Electrical appliances must be PAT-tested and any furniture must meet fire safety requirements.

“Bedsits and HMO properties require additional assessments – HMOs must undergo an electrical safety check every five years and bedsits need a written fire assessment.

“Failing to ensure the safety of your tenants is likely to end in a hefty fine or worse, serious injury to your tenants.”

Content correct at time of publication

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