10 Dec 2019

A landlord has been ordered to pay almost £20,000 and has been told by a judge that he was meaner than Scrooge.

George Lindsay, from Birmingham, has pleaded guilty of failing to obtain an HMO licence and to 13 breaches of HMO Management Regulations.

He has been ordered to pay a fine of £19,970.

When issuing the sentence, the district judge commented that Scrooge was a philanthropist compared to Lindsay and confirmed that he would have sent him to prison if his sentencing powers would have allowed him to do so. 

The district judge also requested that HMRC reviews his financial records.

The court case followed an operation where Birmingham council worked with the police to initially gain access to one of the three properties owned by Lindsay. 

However, when council o fficers inspected the house, they were so concerned about the lack of fire precautions they contacted West Midlands Fire Service.

Almost all of the smoke detectors were missing from the house, putting the lives of the 10 people – including four children – who lived there in danger. WMFS oversaw the immediate installation of a working fire alarm system.

Other offences included a failure to license one of his properties, scorched electrical fittings, missing and inadequate fire doors, mattresses blocking fire escape routes and a failure to provide gas and electrical test certificates.

Leaks from a roof into a bedroom occupied by an adult and three children were found at another property while, another tenant had no kitchen facilities and was being forced instead to use a halogen heater placed on its side. 

Officers also found a missing shower head which meant that at least nine people had to share one bathroom.

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