Landlord Fined £20K for Unsafe Living Conditions

A family complained to a shocked officer at Rother District Council, East Sussex, about freezing temperatures at their rented dilapidated home.

While the outside temperature was just one degree, the maximum temperature inside the house was just 13 degrees, as the property had no heating.

A council team inspected the house at Camber, and officers found collapsed ceilings, rooms riddled with damp, and general disrepair. The electrics were dangerous, and the stairs and steps were unsafe.

Improvement notices were issued to the landlord, Eric Moon, 81, but no work was carried out.

Hastings Magistrates found him guilty of three offences of ignoring the improvement works. He was fined £20,000 with a £2,000 surcharge and £1,649 costs.

“This was an exceptional case where there was significant risk to the health of the tenants and of the chance of serious injury, given the lack of maintenance at the property,” said Richard Parker-Harding, the council’s head of environmental health.

“We encourage landlords to listen to tenants’ concerns and take action to reduce hazards at the properties that they rent.”

No excuse for unlicensed HMOs

Landlord Darren Jarman was caught letting his eight shared rental homes without licences but thought a £34,000 fine with costs and the convictions were unfair.

Jarman, 52, admitted letting the properties without licences at Taunton Magistrates Court last year.

He wanted the fine and conviction overturned because he did not believe the licensing conditions imposed by the council were unreasonable.

But the judge dismissed his appeal, saying Jarman had committed the offences and had no excuse for continuing to do so.

The hearing was adjourned until August to allow the judge time to review Jarman’s finances and to ensure the fine was proportionate.

Property company ignored planning rules

A property company and its director received a £25,000 bill for failing to comply with enforcement notices issued to properties in Bedford.

Bedford Magistrates Court convicted Mohammed Saleem and Samson Ltd and fined them £11,280, with Bedford Council’s costs of £14,255.

The notices covered planning breaches relating to replacing windows in a conservation area, cycle parking, noise and bin storage.

“These convictions underscore the council's commitment to upholding planning regulations and ensuring compliance,” said a council spokesman.

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Investing in a Property

Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.