Manchester landlord fined £20,000 for defying improvement orders

A landlord in Salford has been fined £20,000 after repeatedly letting out an unsafe house.

The landlord, 64-year-old Demetirous Georgiou, was ordered to complete fire safety and gas and electrics work on his Salford property in 2016, as fire doors were not maintained, a fire alarm was faulty and escape routes were blocked by a fridge.

But the landlord defied the order and continued to let every flat out to a new set of tenants.

Georgiou was convicted of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice and breaching an Emergency Prohibition Order.

He even failed to attend the hearing at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court, where he was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £4,700 in costs and a £181 victim surcharge.

Deputy City Mayor and lead member for housing, councillor Tracey Kelly said fire safety systems were “there to protect tenants’ lives”.

She said: “Landlords cannot ignore that and put people at risk.

“We will continue to rigorously inspect private-rented properties to make sure they reach the standards tenants deserve.

“The vast majority of Salford landlords understand this and work with us to provide good quality and safe homes. We will continue to rigorously inspect private rented properties to make sure they reach the standards tenants deserve.”

After it was found gas and electricity meters had been bypassed they were both removed, leaving the building without power or hot water.

Georgiou was served with an Emergency Prohibition Order stopping him from letting the flats until the electricity supply was reinstated and proved safe.

Meanwhile he was told to bring fire safety up to standard and was given a suspended Improvement Notice for gas and electric works.

In August 2016 it was found that Georgiou had restored the electricity supply legitimately and was living in the basement flat. The rest of the house was empty and the gas supply had not been restored.

In March 2017 however the council found that he had re-let the flats without carrying out the required work and the tenants were rehomed.

And in December 2019 the flats were re-let again without fire safety and improvement works completed.

He was twice invited for interview in January 2020 to explain the breach of the emergency order, though he failed to attend.

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