A landlord in Woking has been fined after his tenants were left to live in a mould filled flat with a leaking toilet and a poorly maintained property.
Alan Kevin Fowler, the landlord of 22 Bainton Mead, Woking, was ordered to pay out a total of £8,432 for not carrying out repair work and attending to health and safety issues in the property despite having been served two Improvement Notices.
Woking Borough Council said the tenants were living among a catalogue of health and safety hazards including: no smoke alarms being installed, a faulty extractor fan, a full electrical inspection had not been carried out, a high pressure hot water cylinder (Mega flow) was thought not have been installed properly.
The leaking cylinder caused mould growth, while in the kitchen and bathroom floor tiles were cracked and the toilet was leaking.
It was December 23, 2015, that an inspection found the property was “in an appalling state of disrepair,” while a follow-up inspection on December 29, 2015, showed no improvement and Mr Fowler was issued a formal notice ordering him to commence a series of improvement works over a six month period.
However, Mr Fowler failed to carry out any of the works required by the notices and the Council was left with no other option but to prosecute.
A Council spokesperson said this was the fourth prosecution of its kind in Woking Borough in the last six months. Speaking about the decision Councillor Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing Services said:
“Our successful prosecution of private landlords demonstrates the Council’s ongoing commitment to safeguarding the rights of private tenants in the Borough.
“Woking Borough Council acknowledges the value in the private rented sector to the residents of Woking but we are dedicated to helping ensure that landlords operate within the law and provide safe accommodation for the Borough’s residents.
“We do not tolerate poor housing standards or complete disregard for tenant welfare and, wherever possible, we will aim to build a case and prosecute against such behaviour.
“We gave Mr Fowler ample opportunity to rectify the multiple issues with his property, all of which were ignored. We were therefore in no doubt that prosecution was the only suitable approach.
“The proactive court enforcement action will act as a deterrent to others considering neglect of their property and of their duty to provide a secure and habitable place of residence for their tenants.”
When requested, Mr Fowler had failed to respond to a legal notice served under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 requiring him to provide information about the ownership and occupation of the accommodation.
He was found guilty on both accounts and fined £4,500 and ordered to pay £3,732.11 costs to Woking Borough Council, as well as a victim surcharge of £200.
Landlord Accreditation Scheme
Woking Council has introduced an accreditation scheme, in partnership with the National Landlords’ Association, which will offer additional support to Landlords while helping to improve rental housing standards. Woking landlords can register their interest in the scheme by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Woking Council says information and advice for private landlords operating in the borough, can be found at www.woking.gov.uk/privatesectorhousing or they can speak to a member of the Private Sector Housing Standards Team by calling 01483 755855.
Landlord fined £8,000 for mould ridden flat https://t.co/vKz6X00lx6
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) January 19, 2017