Lincoln rogue landlords fined £58k

Three rogue landlords with hazardous properties, including with ill-fitting fire doors and severe damp, were fined over £58,000 by the council.

The City of Lincoln Council won the battle against the trio after the properties, which failed to comply with regulations to protect tenants, were found to have numerous hazards.

This included inadequate heating, draughty and insecure windows, missing and broken smoke alarms, severe damp and condensation, ill-fitting fire doors and holes in the internal structure allowing fire to spread, and defective and insanitary toilets and shower rooms.

One of the offending properties, which is located at St Catherine’s in Lincoln. Photo: City of Lincoln Council

Inside the property at St Catherine’s in Lincoln. Photo: City of Lincoln Council

The law changed on October 1, 2018 requiring landlords across the country to hold a licence for Houses in Multiple Occupation of any number of storeys, occupied by five or more people who are not from the same family.

Patrick Sweeney

On October 22 Patrick John Sweeney of Western Avenue, Lincoln received a fine of more than £41,000 for breaching 20 offences relating to HMO management regulations and two offences of non-compliance with an improvement notice.

He received a financial penalty of £41,739.43 comprising of costs and victim surcharges for a number of offences related to two properties in St Catherine’s in Lincoln. They were each converted into four self-contained flats and not brought up to current standards.

More photos inside the dirty property at St Catherine’s in Lincoln. Photo: City of Lincoln Council

Photo: City of Lincoln Council

Colm Walsh-Kavanagh

On Monday, Colm Walsh-Kavanagh of Northgate, Newark received a fine of more than £1,400 for preventing his tenant from entering his property of occupation on Carholme Road.

He received a financial penalty of £1,412.16 comprising of costs, victim surcharge and £300 compensation directly to the victim.

This was for unlawfully depriving the residential occupier from entering his home by removing the door handle to his bedroom and changing the locks to both his bedroom door and front door to the property.

Graham Smith

On November 5 Graham Smith of Church Road, Saxilby received a financial penalty of £16,500 for operating an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) with two associated HMO management regulations offences.

He received a financial penalty of £16,500 comprising of costs and victim surcharges for offences related to a property in the Sincil Bank area.

The property contained no fire doors and an unsuitable fire alarm system which did not meet the required standard for a licensable HMO. It also contained inadequate bathroom facilities for the six tenants.

Safety of tenants comes first

Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing at City of Lincoln Council, Councillor Donald Nannestad, said: “Our Private Housing and Legal team have done a great job in protecting the safety of a number of tenants who were occupying these hazardous HMOs and in the most recent case, the rights of one tenant who was unlawfully shut out of his home.

“The council recognises that most landlords supply safe and well-managed accommodation and will always aim to educate and work with private landlords informally prior to commencing enforcement action.

“However, these three landlords had a duty of care to protect their tenants and failed to do so, which is something City of Lincoln Council will not tolerate.

“We are happy to have brought justice to a number of our residents through these proceedings and will continue to crack down on rogue landlords in Lincoln.”