Rogue Landlord:

Rogue landlord Noelle Salameh of Desmond Avenue, Cambridge has had fines and penalties imposed totalling around £4,000 after housing her tenants in appalling conditions.

Salameh’s four-person property at 5 Holbrook Road, not far from Addenbrooke’s Hospital, was in a “disgusting state” lacking basic amenities, no electricity, heating, cooker, shower or sink. The outside area was also in a bad state with mounds of rubbish piled up.

The rogue landlord has been fined £2,478 with £1,370 costs and £108 victim surcharge.

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The situation came to the attention of Cambridge City Council officers after it received a complaint from tenants at the property about the poor conditions they were living in. When council officials investigated they found overcrowding, generally dangerous living conditions and the tenants being harassed.

On top of everything else the four-person house in multiple occupation (HMO) lacked basic fire safety precautions, there was evidence of previous instances of overcrowding and piles of the landlord’s own rubbish that had accumulated in the front and rear gardens was never removed.

When Salameh failed to respond to the schedule of works issued by the council to resolve the problems, and subsequent inspections showed no improvement, the council finally served a formal Improvement Notice on Salameh to compel her to comply with the law but, again inspections showed no improvement.

Following a trial at Cambridge Magistrates Court in September, Salameh was found guilty of the charges against her by the magistrates. She pleaded guilty to the offences in person and was issued the fines and penalties.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing, had said:

“Nobody renting a home should be subjected to these shocking conditions.

“We are determined to take a tough line with rogue landlords who exploit their tenants for personal gain.

“As this case shows, we will not hesitate to take legal action if landlords refuse to abide by their legal obligations to their tenants.

“We will continue to do all we can to protect residents from poor housing conditions and I hope that this case serves as another warning to the small minority of landlords who continue to flout the law.”

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