Fines for HMO breaches

Two men who manage a House of Multiple Occupation in Manton, Worksop have been fined a collective amount of more than £5,000 after breaching a number of housing regulations.

At Mansfield Magistrates Court on 30th October 2017, Wojeciech Matyka pleaded guilty to 10 counts of failing to comply with The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006, while Sarabjit Singh pleaded guilty to five breaches.

An investigation into the condition and safety of the premises at 78 Netherton Road had been launched following the death of a tenant, Aleksander Jakubowski on 10th December 2016. 

As the Authority responsible for enforcing breaches of the Regulations for Management of HMO’s, officers from Bassetlaw District Council uncovered multiple breaches during inspections of the premises that included:

  • Failing to supplying tenants with or displaying the contact details of the manager of the premises.
  • Failing to clearly signpost all fire escapes, in addition to some fire escapes being bolted shut and with debris obstructing other escape routes.
  • Failing to install Smoke Alarms and Fire Doors in the premises.
  • Failing to install handrails in parts of the building, in addition to failing to keep handrails in other stairwells in good repair.
  • Failing to keep all windows in good repair
  • Failing to adequately light communal areas of the building, and install light fittings on the first floor landing.
  • Failing to keep other communal areas in good repair, for example, a large crack was found in the bath in the first floor landing with an inadequate repair.   

It had been established that Matyka had day to day management responsibility for the premises, while Singh had taken out a 25-year lease on the property in 2012. Following a further inspection of the property in March 2017, all remedial works to address the breaches had been carried out.

Cllr Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “Landlords have a responsibility to their tenants to provide safe, secure and legally habitable places to live. This was clearly not the case for Mr Matyka and Mr Singh who put the safety and the lives of their tenants in danger by failing to comply with these regulations.

“While the coroner had previously ruled that Mr Jakubowski’s death was accidental, a contributing factor to his death was the absence of a balustrade at the top of the stairs leading to his room. As a result, Mr Matyka and Mr Singh have accepted responsibility for their negligence and have been fined for these breaches.”

In total, Matyka was fined £2,930 and Singh £2,130, including costs and victim surcharge.

Published: Wednesday 08 November 2017