homeSaturday 23rd February 2019

Lincoln rogue landlord handed record fine

Katie Coyne05/07/2018 - 13:33

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filthy premises
filthy premises

A rogue landlord in Lincoln, the East Midlands, has been fined more than £400,000 for 28 potentially fatal safety breaches.

The fine is believed to be one of the largest financial penalties handed out to an individual landlord.

The City of Lincoln Council took Bijan Keshmiri of Wragby Road, Lincoln, to Lincoln Magistrates Court where a judge ordered him to pay £404,886.90 in fines and costs.

The health and safety breaches were found across four self contained flats on Rosemary Lane and a property converted into two self-contained flats on Spa Buildings.

Tenants were surrounded by fire and health hazards, and the living spaces at Rosemary Lane were so neglected they were not cleanable.

Keshmiri was renting out the properties as HMOs to twelve tenants in the building on Rosemary Lane and six at the property on Spa Buildings.

At sentencing, the magistrates said: ‘Mr Keshmiri, we are concerned that you have owned these properties for several years and they are a fire hazard.

‘Given your history, your portfolio of properties and the length of time that you have managed them, this is of the utmost seriousness.

‘The offences were so serious that the fine should act as a deterrent to other rogue landlords.’

Leader of City of Lincoln Council Ric Metcalfe said: ‘It’s pleasing to see justice has been served against this offender who has, time and time again, exploited his tenants by making them live in appalling conditions, surrounded by many fire and health hazards.’

Portfolio holder for quality housing at City of Lincoln Council, Donald Nannestad, said: ‘Lincoln has a reputation as a city that is safe and welcoming for its residents and the council will continue to do everything it can to ensure all landlords are meeting the high standards that both we and the tenants expect.’ 

The court was told how the building on Rosemary Lane has several fire safety requirement breaches including broken smoke detectors, innapropriate locks on fire exits, lack of fire separation and protection between flats, and repairs made so poorly they could have increased the spread of fire. The first floor flat had a risk of electrocution from a light.

Some of the windows with low sills had broken latches or didn’t have opening restrictors on the top floor flats. This meant ventilation couldn’t be controlled and there was a risk of someone falling from the window.

On the third floor flat a hot water supply tank was not sealed so the water could have been exposed to vermin, insects and infectious organisms – including Legionella bacteria.

The communal areas and stairwell had no emergency lighting and the standard lighting on the ground, first and second floor staircases didn’t work.

The property on Spa Buildings had doors sealed shut preventing fire exits and no fire separation. There were no smoke alarms in the ground floor flat or fire blanket in the kitchen. Black mould was also present throughout the property.




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