Liverpool landlord prosecuted for HMO breach after inspectors smelt a rat
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal
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A Liverpool landlord has been prosecuted for operating a house in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a licence after officers followed up a rat complaint.
Christopher Michaelides, 68, of Wanstead, London pleaded guilty to the charge over the Kessington property in a prosecution bought by Liverpool City Council.
The director of the house’s managing company, Rental Gateway Ltd, Lawrence Evans, 33, of Prescot Road, Liverpool, was found guilty in his absence and fined £600 on each of four counts and ordered to pay £1,530 costs.
A court heard that, following a complaint about rats, officers from the council’s HMO Team visited 37 Kensington.
After gaining access they discovered that the four-storey building had been turned into eight occupied bed-sits that shared a communal kitchen.
Records showed that no application for a licence for the property had been received.
Officers found a number of breaches of management regulations including damaged fire doors which made them ineffective and damp to the walls and ceiling of the first floor landing.
A land registry searched showed the owner was Christopher Michaelides.
In his defence Michaelides said that he had left the management of the property in the hands of his managing agent and did not know that the property required a licence.
He was fined £1,000 and costs of £2,050 were awarded to the council
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for housing, said: “It is important that landlords are aware that even if they appoint a managing agent they are still responsible for ensuring that any property they have is safe and complies with the law.
“Liverpool City Council operates a Citywide Landlord Accreditation Safety Scheme (CLASS) and landlords seeking accredited Managing Agents can visit the City Council website for a list.”