Landlord who rented ‘dangerous’ house fined £20,000
PUBLISHED: 17:21 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:21 13 February 2020
A landlord who was jailed after two teens died of carbon monoxide poisoning in one of his homes has been fined £20,000 after another of his properties was branded as “dangerous”.
Stanley Rodgers, 78, of Market Road Place in Great Yarmouth, appeared at the town's Magistrates' Court on Thursday (February 13) where he pleaded guilty to a string of offences including managing an unlicensed home in multiple occupation (HMO) and charges related to putting the tenants at risk.
He had rented the three-bedroom house on South Market Road in February last year to five people but did not inform the council it was a HMO.
Later, following a complaint from a tenant, the borough council inspected the property and found it lacked fire doors, smoke detectors and an appropriate escape route.
The court heard that, in 2004, Mr Rodgers was sentenced to five years in prison after two teenage tenants died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty gas fire.
And in 2015, he admitted to six offences including managing an unlicensed home in multiple occupation (HMO) and charges related to putting the tenants at risk.
David Lowens, for the borough council, said the house's tenants have suggested Mr Rodgers knew he was renting the house as a HMO.
If a property is a HMO it must be licenced to ensure tenant safety, Mr Lowens said.
The court heard Mr Rogers is a professional landlord with a number of properties and it is part of his job to be aware of the HMO legislation.
The council went in after a tenant complaint and was very concerned about fire safety, Mr Lowens said.
He added that fire services also attended the house and agreed with council officers it was "completely unsatisfactory and dangerous".
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Esther Tan, mitigating, said her client was a victim of circumstances and was "under the genuine belief" he was renting the house to a family of five people.
Ms Tan said Mr Rodgers has limited understanding of the law surrounding HMOs.
His only intention was to assist the family get accommodation and not let the property as a HMO, she said.
Ms Tan also said the defendant had learned lessons from his previous convictions.
He was fined £20,000.
The landlord was also ordered to pay costs of more than £5,500 as well as an outstanding payment of £4,600.