Home>Fire>Evacuation>Merseyside property failings realise £30,000 fine for HMO management company
Home>Fire>Fire Doors>Merseyside property failings realise £30,000 fine for HMO management company
Home>Fire>Legislation>Merseyside property failings realise £30,000 fine for HMO management company

Merseyside property failings realise £30,000 fine for HMO management company

15 April 2024

HOUSING MANAGEMENT company Newsham Park Estates Ltd has been fined a total of £30,000 after an inspection conducted by Liverpool City Council officials found an escape route at a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) was padlocked shut and blocked by a shipping container.

Newsham Park Estates Ltd pleaded guilty to four breaches of the Management of Houses of Multiple Occupancy Regulations 2006 due to serious issues with tenant safety.

Liverpool City Council’s Private Sector Housing Service visited the property on Belmont Drive in Kensington in January last year after a tenant who lived in one of the rooms at the HMO made a complaint.

On inspection of the property, it was discovered that there was no safe secondary means of escape as the back gate was padlocked shut and also found to be obstructed by a large shipping container.

Fire doors

In addition, no fewer than nine fire doors were found to be in a state of disrepair and holes and gaps were also found in the floor and walls of several rooms, thereby compromising compartmentation and, by extension, fire safety.

At a sentencing hearing conducted at Wirral Magistrates Court on 21 March, the firm was fined £4,500 relating to the padlocked gate, £4,500 relating to the shipping container, £10,800 for the defective fire doors and £8,100 due to the holes/gaps in the property.

With costs and a victim surcharge included, this totalled a sum of £32,694.00 payable by the company.

Safety issues remedied

The property has since been inspected again and, pleasingly, the issues that were originally identified have now been remedied.

Louise Harford, interim director of housing at Liverpool City Council, said: “This case demonstrates clearly that we will investigate and take action when there is clear evidence that landlords are not meeting their legal responsibilities. The action we have taken means tenants in this property are now living in much safer conditions, while the fine that has been issued sends out a really strong message to landlords who are not complying.”

Harford concluded: “We would encourage tenants who have concerns about disrepair and poor conditions to contact us so that we can look into the issues and see if any offences are being committed.”