Landlords Fined £10,000.00 By Local Authority For The Condition Of Their Property
The need for landlords to ensure that the properties they let out are in good condition cannot be over estimated. Landlords have responsibilities to maintain the structure and utilities within their property either through the tenancy or by statutory requirements. If they fail to do so the Local Authority can require works to be carried out and will prosecute if they are not done. In addition tenants can apply to the County Court for Orders that works are carried out – and obtain substantial compensation – if the landlord fails to carry out repairs for which he or she is responsible within a reasonable period of time.
Recent cases brought by Ealing Council have highlighted the position. In April this year Mr Armajit Gulshan was fined over £10,000.00 when a property divided into six rented rooms was found to be in disrepair and filthy. This included; overcrowding, damaged fire doors, a broken smoke alarm; broken windows and evidence of mould throughout the property and mice and cockroach infestations.
When he failed to carry out repairs following an Order served by the Council he was prosecuted and convicted of eleven offences. He was fined £6,750.00 and ordered to pay £3,353.48 in costs and £120.00 victim surcharge. The Council will also seek to revoke his House of Multiple Occupancy Licence.
This is not an isolated incident as in October 2013 a three-storey property divided into seven bedsits in Acton resulted in the landlord being fined £24,000.00. In that property there were problems with water leaks, a lack of smoke alarms, dangerous electrics, a lack of hand rails, a chest of drawers blocking main escape routes and dirty bathroom and kitchen facilities.
This is also not the highest of fines, as in 2010 Ealing Council prosecuted a landlord who failed to provide details of his properties after a man had died in a fire in one of his HMO properties. In this case the landlord was fined £30,000.00 for six offences and ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £1,105.00.
Landlords must make sure that their properties are safe, are in good repair and that their tenants have reasonable access to heating, hot water, electricity and cooking facilities. Experienced landlords know that by letting and maintaining their properties in good condition and ensuring that any repairs are addressed swiftly means their properties will command higher rents and, in the long run, will be less expensive to maintain.
Prince Evans Solicitors LLP – in co-operation with Colin Bibra Estate Agents Ltd. – will be presenting an essential seminar for all private residential landlords and lettings agents at Ealing Golf Club on the 2nd July 2014.
The focus of the seminar will be how to:
- Address the benefits of both presenting well maintained properties and making suitable arrangements to ensure that repairs are carried out in a timely manner.
- Deal with potential legal claims that tenants may bring if a property is not properly maintained either directly or in reply to rent arrears proceedings.
If you have any queries concerning the matters raised please contact
Jeremy Teall, Partner and Housing Management Team Leader, on
020 8567 3477 or e-mail email@example.com