A private landlord has been fined for failing to repair his property and leaving his tenants to suffer damp, draughty and hazardous conditions for two years!
If we are ever to turn around our housing in the borough the council really must take action such as this each and every time it comes to light. It is also essential that when a resident moves from the private scetor into the council sector that the property from whence they came is inspected. This is because one of the main critria for getting council property is overcrowding and poor conditions and if the council does follow up on this then the next private tenant may be in a similar position. For more details on the case please see below-
Terry Frost, of Cotswold Road, Westcliff, had denied failing to comply with an Improvement Notice issued under the Housing Act 2004, but he was found guilty when he appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Monday 26th September. Frost was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,500 costs plus a £15 victim surcharge.
Conservative Councillor for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing, Lesley Salter, said:
“We have many good landlords in the borough and we are trying to encourage those who don’t presently meet the standards we require to manage their properties more effectively.
“We will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any landlord who shows a cavalier attitude towards their legal responsibilities.”
The court heard how Southend Council had tried repeatedly to deal with the matter informally before finally serving the Improvement Notice in December 2010. This listed a series of repairs required to bring the property up to the appropriate standard and allowed several months for the works to be completed. They included renewing defective windows, refurbishing the kitchen, improving security, work to minimise dampness and tackling a mouse infestation.
The Council was forced to prosecute after a re-inspection of the property revealed most of the repairs were still outstanding, even though the Notice period had expired. In addition to being fined Frost remains responsible for ensuring that all the works required are completed.