The landlords of flats which were fire hazards and should not have been occupied have been sentenced.
Adrian Webb and his wife Lynn Joyce Webb, of Mill Lane, Rainhill, were convicted in their absence at Liverpool Magistrates Court for breaching prohibition orders, made by city council’s Environmental Health Officers on a house they owned in Rice Lane Walton.
The Court heard that when officers visited the house, which had been converted into three self-contained flats, they found that it had no fire alarms and no fire doors and that the locks to all exit doors were key-operated.
They also found rooms riddled with damp, a lack of handrails to staircases, lack of adequate heating provision, a collapsed ceiling due to a water leak that had gone unattended by the landlords, poorly laid out and unsafe kitchens with electric cables trailing across the floor and a chest of drawers being used as a kitchen worktop.
Prohibition Orders, which came into force in July 2014, were made on the property. The orders prohibited the occupation of the premises for human habitation until remedial works were carried out.
In December 2014 the officers became aware that despite the orders, the property was occupied. They re-inspected and found that each of the three flats was occupied and the remedial works had not been completed.
The property had merely been tidied up and redecorated. There were still no fire precautions, adequate heating provision, kitchen layout and provision remained unchanged, electrical inspection condition reports had not been provided to the council as required on the orders, to demonstrate that the electrical installations were safe.
Adrian and Lynn Joyce Webb were each fined £8,000 for the offences with both ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and the Council’s costs of £1,326.
Councillor Frank Hont, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “This was a flagrant breach of safety regulations which put tenants’ lives at risk and the fines imposed in this case show the court has taken a very serious view of it. People have a right to live in safe and well-maintained property and we will have no hesitation in taking action against landlords who endanger people’s safety.”