Big penalty for unlicensed HMO property in Lincolnshire
18 July 2017
A MAN from Kings Lynn has been handed a penalty totaling nearly £75,000 for flouting fire safety rules at an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Boston.
Officers from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) and Boston Borough Council visited the former Ship Inn on London Road, Boston on 16 February 2016 and found at least 18 occupants, including two very young children at the premises. As they inspected the building they found multiple fire safety failings, which included failing to review the fire risk assessment, escape routes not adequately protected in case of fire, a locked fire exit, blocked fire escape route and a dangerous electrical installation.
The property owner, Paul Turner, appeared at Lincoln Crown Court on 7 July and was found guilty of 13 offences, including five fire safety offences and eight housing offences. He was ordered to pay £74,602 in fines and costs.
Throughout the trial, Turner denied he was running an HMO, but said it was a hotel with paying guests. He did not have a licence to operate an HMO and the premises were not of a suitable standard to operate as a hotel.
Speaking after the trial, LFRS prevention and protection manager Dan Moss said: “When officers visited the property in February, they found at least 18 people living there, with two very young children aged one and two - we needed to take immediate action to ensure their safety. The penalty imposed on Mr Turner is a clear reminder to landlords that the court’s take safety as seriously as we do and the penalties for not doing are severe.”