Landlord fined £60,000 for renting ‘unsafe’ flats

A landlord has been fined £60,000 for renting several apartments that were deemed ‘unsafe’ by Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.

Former firefighter Adrian Webb, who lives in a four-storey building in Rainhill, failed to provide the most basic fire safety precautions in some of his rented properties. These exclusions included fire-resistant doors, handrails on staircases and kitchens deemed not fit for purpose. Worst of all, damp had riddled several rooms, and a ceiling collapsed in another due to a unfixed water leak.

Landlord’s insurance is a requirement of buy-to-let houses, holiday cottages, and other commercial premises. A standard household buildings and content insurance policy will not cover the obligations of a landlord renting to tenants. Landlord’s insurance will cover a wide range of additional circumstances, including property owners’ liability, damage to property and subsistence.

Mr Webb and his wife Lynne, who have been letting out properties since 2003, had previously been fined £16,000 for breaching four legal orders. What’s more, in spite of the fact that the court said they could not allow tenants to move into the building in question until urgent repairs had been carried out, they rented the property anyway.

This time, Mr Webb and his wife Lynne were fined £15,000 for each of the breaches relating to building safety orders — totalling £60,000 — by Liverpool Magistrates’ Court. The couple were also told by Judge Richard Clancy to pay court costs of £944.11 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Liverpool Councillor Frank Hont, a cabinet member for housing, said after the verdict: “We are doing all we can to stamp out rogue landlords and improve standards of safety for tenants. When we are made aware of breaches we will take action.

“You are 16 times more likely to die in a fire in properties like these than you are in a single family home, which is why it is essential that there are adequate precautions in place.”