A pair of landlords have been fined by Luton Magistrates’ Court for several fire regulation breaches, reports Luton On Sunday.
The landlords, William Hardie and Yunxiang Yi-Hardie, both from Luton, failed to install fire doors or smoke detectors in multiple occupancy flats on Park Street. Furthermore, the apartment was unlicensed for multiple occupancy arrangements and failed to carry out basic fire safety checks.
All landlords have a duty to provide adequate standards of accommodation to their tenants. As part of this duty, landlord’s insurance is a requirement of all rented apartments or houses. Landlord’s insurance will also cover a wide range of additional circumstances, including property owners’ liability, damage to property and subsistence.
The pair both pleaded guilty to being the owners of the unlicensed multiple occupancy homes and for breaching Management Regulations that govern what firefighting equipment must be present. The judge at Luton Magistrates’ Court fined the couple £2,797 as a result.
Councillor Tom Shaw said of the case: “Every landlord housing different families that share the same facilities under one roof must register for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licences. We will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who show a disregard for the law and their responsibilities towards occupants.
"We encourage anyone who suspects a property that may be an unlicensed HMO to contact us immediately.
"The good news for tenants taken advantage of in situations like these is that they are entitled to claim up to 12 months rent back from the landlord — something the council hopes will make landlords think twice and take seriously their legal obligations."