Man fined £3,000 after Wellington property rented out with disconnected smoke alarms and faulty fire doors
A man who ran a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) in Wellington with disconnected smoke alarms, faulty fire doors and no electricity safety certificate has been told to pay more than £3,000.
Kalim Hussain said he was acting as the manager for the two-storey house in Bank Road on behalf of his father Munir, who was ill and suffering heart problems.
Michelle Hughes and Kerry Lewis from Telford & Wrekin Council carried out a spot check in November last year after getting complaints of overcrowding at the house, Telford Magistrates Court heard on Monday.
Prosecutor Julie Fisher said that they found several fire doors which had damaged frames and would not withstand 30 minutes of fire, in breach of fire safety regulations.
Several smoke alarms also had missing detector heads, and a referral was made to the Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service who visited in a follow-up appointment.
Fire officers found that smoke alarms in the three bedrooms had recently been disconnected.
In another appointment a week later, they found a fire extinguisher had not been inspected properly since June of 2015.
Hussain represented himself in court, and said part of the blame was on tenants' domestic situations, saying one of the residents had a boyfriend who would come to the house and damage her door by running at it and kicking it.
He also said that much of the issues have since been resolved and that recent inspections have been positive.
He said: "It's just happened so quickly. I understand everything that's been said but with my dealings with the property I didn't think it was explained to me properly what I needed to do.
"I didn't see myself as the manager of the whole place. I just thought I was helping my father out.
"If it was explained to me 'these are the consequences', I would have taken it more serious [sic]."
He also said that in his correspondence with the council an officer had used the wrong email address, meaning he missed some of their notes.
Hussain, 34, of King Street in Wellington, pleaded guilty to six counts of failing to comply with the Housing Act 2004.
He was fined £180 for each, totalling £1,080, and will also pay the full costs of the prosecution which came to £2,318.
He must also pay a £30 victim surcharge.
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