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ASBO landlord now fined for breach of fire regulations

A London woman said to have been the first residential landlord to be served with an ASBO has this week been found guilty of failing to comply with fire regulations for a housing in multiple occupation, after a prosecution brought by a local authority.

Catherine Boyle, 59 of 14 Iverson Road, London NW6 was convicted at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (6 November).

The defendant was found guilty for failing to carry out works specified in an improvement notice from Camden Council and four breaches of fire-related HMO regulations.

Boyle also breached her HMO licence by providing her tenants with non-fire retardant furniture.

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The defendant was fined £3,600 and ordered to pay Camden’s costs of £4,459.60. Boyle must pay the sum within four months. A failure to carry out works could see her prosecuted again by the authority.

The council had served an improvement notice on Boyle in April 2011, requiring her to carry out extensive works to rectify serious hazards by November last year.

When Camden’s inspectors paid a visit in January this year, the work had not been completed.

The council gave the defendant more time to comply. However, in May this year inspectors found that the fire detection and alarm system were not connected to a power supply, fire doors were inadequate and furniture was still non fire-retardant.

The house also had poor thermal efficiency and windows “in a terrible state of repair,” Camden said.

The ASBO, lasting for two years, was obtained at Highbury Magistrates’ Court in January 2011.

Under the order, Boyle is prohibited from causing harassment, alarm or distress to her tenants, entering their rooms without consent, and cutting off their gas and electricity supply.

Camden’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Julian Fulbrook, said: “We inspect all our HMOs regularly to make sure they comply with all health and safety regulations so that tenants are safe in their homes. In the most serious cases we have the power to revoke an HMO licence and take over the running of the properties ourselves.”

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