Landlords who left tenant without heating or hot water given hefty fine

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Landlords who left tenant without heating or hot water given hefty fine

A couple who left their tenant without heating or hot water for five months have been fined more than £5,000 by magistrates.

Robert and Mary French rented out a flat they own in Ninfield Road, Sidley, despite it not having a working boiler.

The pair promised their new tenant that the boiler would be fixed before she moved in in early February 2017, but she was still without heating and hot water at the end of April. Rother District Council's private sector housing team heard of her plight during a routine council inspection relating to another matter.

Following an inspection by the authority's environmental health officer, Mr and Mrs French were asked to carry out the necessary repairs. 

A further visit in May revealed that the work had not been carried out and an Improvement Notice was served, giving the couple 28 days to act. The district council were forced to organise for repairs to be carried out itself in June 2017.

Simon Edwards, environmental health officer for Rother District Council, said: "Landlords have a duty of care for their tenants, and this responsibility is not optional. A landlord failing to ensure their property is safe can have a detrimental effect on their tenant's quality of life and, in some cases, put lives at risk.

"Our private sector housing team will not tolerate landlords who dismiss their responsibilities and put their tenant's lives at risk. We always try to work with landlords to secure improvements, but they should be left in no doubt that we will enforce the law to ensure compliance with necessary standards."

Mr and Mrs French, of South Cliff, Bexhill, were convicted of failing to comply with the Improvement Notice when the case was heard in their absence at Hastings Magistrates' Court on Friday, September 8.

They were fined £2200, ordered to pay compensation of £1900 for the work funded by the council and costs of £776.52. They must also pay a victim surcharge of £220.

Ends.
 

Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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