Coventry Magistrates' Court has imposed fines and costs totalling £1,485.00 on the owner of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) property in Lower Ford Street, Coventry.

On Wednesday 14th July 2021 Mr Carmelo Borsellino (77), of Cheveral Avenue, Coventry, pleaded guilty of failing to comply with HMO Management Regulations. He was fined £1,350.00 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £135.00.

On 17th July 2019 officers from the Council's Property Licensing Team carried out an inspection of the flat above, 12-14 Lower Ford Street, Coventry. During the inspection officers found there to be serious fire safety breaches, including a fire door to the kitchen being wedged open with a fire extinguisher, items being stored on the escape route on both 1st and 2nd floor landings that impeded the escape of the occupants, the smoke detectors had been removed from the cupboard under the 1st to 2nd floor stairs, which also contained items being stored that could have provided a fuel source in the event of a fire.

Following the Council’s inspection Mr Borsellino was interviewed under caution where it was apparent that he had failed to actively manage the property and was unable to provide any evidence of fire safety logs or inspections he had undertaken to ensure the property was safe.

Mr Borsellino has previously been convicted of the same offences in September 2017 and continues to show a flagrant disregard for his tenants and his responsibilities as a landlord.

Coventry City Council is committed to raising the standards of private rented housing and on the 4th May 2020 a citywide Additional HMO Licensing scheme took effect.

Councillor David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “This sends an important message to landlords who fail to comply with HMO Management Regulations. The scheme is an important process that allows both landlords and tenants to be challenged if they fail to meet their responsibilities.

“It’s vital that we all work to raise housing standards in Coventry for the safety of tenants and develop mutual co-operation between tenants and landlords. That’s why it is so important that landlords of HMOs are aware that officers will take action against those landlords who flout the rules, and in this case, repeated fire safety breaches.”

If you own a HMO in Coventry then you need to obtain a HMO Licence – Further information can be found on our property licensing webpage.

Published: Tuesday, 27th July 2021