Leeds landlord ordered to pay £15,000 for safety breaches

Legal action against Leeds landlord Michael Scholes, of Fort Ann Road, Batley, has seen him hit by a £12,000 fine after he was found guilty of safety and welfare offences.

Mr Scholes had repeatedly failed to carry out upgrade works relating to fire safety, heating and kitchen facilities at the large bedsit property in Harehills Avenue, which he was operating as a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

The council issued a HMO licence which asked for works to be done for tenants’ safety. These works hadn’t been done and Scholes ignored council requests to do so.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel said:

“Despite the council advising Mr Scholes what his responsibilities and duties as a landlord were, he failed to sort out a range of issues as part of his HMO licence. In the course of their inspections over several years he failed to deal with fire safety contraventions including the fire alarm system being of an inadequate specification and sound level and fire doors that were either damaged or not compliant. Mr Scholes also failed in his duty to produce certification relating to the electrical safety of the property.

“As our recent conference for landlords showed, there is a wide range of help and support available for landlords to make sure they can meet the rules and regulations that keep both tenants and them safe. This prosecution shows how seriously we take it when landlords fail to play by the rules.”

Mr Scholes failed to attend court, but was found guilty in his absence, fined £1,000 for each of twelve offences, and ordered to pay £3,000 costs.

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