Significant fine and criminal record for landlord who refused to honour repair obligations

A landlord who refused to carry out vital renovations on his rented property has been left with a criminal record and costs amounting to almost £18,000.

Mr Fenton, who had been renting out a property on Walm Lane, Cricklewood for £1,000 per month, pleaded guilty to offences under the Housing Act 2006 after he failed to explain to the Magistrates how and why the property had fallen into such a bad condition.

Among the issues at the property that led to the chair of magistrates condemning the house as not fit to live in, were severe damp, mould growth, a leaking boiler and a rotting front door.

The tenant of the property made a complaint to Brent Council, which resulted in enforcement officers carrying out an inspection of the flat in August 2015. As a consequence of their findings, Mr Fenton was issued with a formal demand from the council which made it clear that he was to repair the damage within 56 days.

In both January and May of this year, council officers returned to the property and confirmed that none of the required repairs had been carried out to the flat.

According to Mr Fenton, he had not visited the flat for a number of years and therefore assumed that the tenants were happy with its condition, particularly as they had not come to him for assistance with the issues.

He went on to claim that because he let the tenants break their tenancy agreement by keeping a dog and run a business from the flat, together with the cheap rent, that the tenants were happy with its poor physical state.

The case, which was initially delayed because the defendant claimed that he was unaware of his income, and had not even completed his means form, eventually concluded that Mr Fenton should pay a total of £17,693. The costs were broken down into a fine of £16,000, costs of £1,573 and a victim surcharge of £120.

When renting out a property, landlords must adhere to the regulations with regard to tenant’s health and safety. As we see from this case, it might cost them heavily to ignore their obligations and the council demands. If in doubt about the maintenance of a property, consult a professional.

*Back to August 2016 Newsletter*

©    BT