A firm has been fined £8,000 for letting out a string of unlicensed and unsafe houses in multiple occupation in Birmingham.
Ultrabarn Plc of Chester Road, Birmingham, failed to apply for licences for three properties at Church Road and Chester Road in Erdington and Rectory Road in Sutton Coldfield.
The company failed to ensure the means of escape from fire was maintained at the HMO on Rectory Road. There were holes in the ceiling around service pipes. They also failed to ensure fire-fighting equipment and fire alarms were in good working order.
It also failed to provide means of escape from fire at the HMO at Chester Road. There was no fire blanket in the communal kitchen, no smoke detectors where required in communal areas, and insanitary conditions and inadequate provision for the disposal of rubbish.
The company was fined £1,500 for each of the three offences, plus £500 each for seven breaches of HMO management regulations. They were also ordered to pay full costs of £2,631 and a victim surcharge of £120.
John Cotton, cabinet member for neighbourhood management and homes, said: ‘Ultrabarn is an experienced and well-known letting company in this part of Birmingham and really should be setting an example; instead they fell well below standards we expect of the private rented sector.’
‘I want to assure tenants across the city that we will prosecute landlords who break the law. I would also urge landlords who are unsure about licensing standards to contact the council immediately.’