Landlord fined in first HHSR case - Housing Health and Safety Rating system

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    Landlord fined in first HHSR case - Housing Health and Safety Rating system

    Although this particular case applies to a House in Multiple Occupation the HHSR procedures will apply to properties in the occupation of one family.

    A landlord who failed to fix fire alarms in a block of bed-sits has been fined in what is believed to be the first successful prosecution using the housing health and safety rating system.

    Mr L Vania from Nuneaton was ordered to pay £2,000 and £150 in costs after a court heard he failed to correct a number of category one hazards in the two- storey property in the Warwickshire market town.

    'The mainproblems were that the fire alarm system wasn't working, emergency lighting wasn't working and the rear yard paving had been removed, which created a number of trip hazards at the entry to the yard,' said EHO Bob Brown , from Nuneaton Council.

    Mr Vania was served with an improvement notice in April 2006 after failing to comply with a 'minded to notice' and several reminders. However, no work was carried out and so the Council took legal action.

    There were four tenants in the property. Three worked for a local organisation helping young homeless people.

    'They could have been burnt in a fire. Three of the beds were upstairs and had there been a fire in the kitchen or downstairs then they would not have had any warning at all - they could have been killed in their beds,' said Mr Brown.

    He added he was pleased with the outcome of the case and hoped it would encourage other landlords to carry out repairs. The property had two category one hazards for fire and falls and four category two hazards for intruders, falling elements, personal hygiene, damp and mould.

    The housing health and safety rating system replaced the previous fitness standard for assessing housing conditions in April 2006.

    from Environmental Health News - 18 August 2006 - Vol 21 no 32
    Vic - wicked landlord
    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

    Vic: I read this tis morning when the rag come through.This may well set a precedent for future case's.Reading the contents of the article one thing that they left out was under S352 of the HA(1985) is that any property which was converted before 1985 now has to meet the standards of 2006. In my opinon landlords should start applying the HHRS as sooner or later case law is going to dictate.
    Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.


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