A landlord who ignored his tenants’ pleas to fix their boiler during sub-zero temperatures has been ordered to pay out nearly £10,000 in fines and compensation.
Philip Spence, of Edmunds Square, Mickleover, failed to act when the boiler broke down, leaving tenants without adequate heating or hot water during November and December 2022, including one week when a severe cold weather alert was issued by the Met Office in the East Midlands.
His tenants contacted Derby City Council in November 2022 as the extreme cold in the house had caused ice to form on the inside of the bedroom windows and a lack of hot water meant they were unable to wash.
Officers from its housing standards team found the boiler was leaking water and some of the radiators had rust-coloured sludge seeping from them.
For several weeks, Spence ignored their requests, so the council served a notice giving him seven days to repair or replace the heating system. However, he failed to do so, leaving the council to carry out the works.
Spence was found guilty of charges relating to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 during a hearing at Derby Magistrates Court, and ordered to pay £2,908 in costs, £3,719 to reimburse the council for the cost of a new boiler and associated works, and £3,000 in compensation to the tenants.
Council leader Baggy Shanker says this sends a strong message that the council is not afraid to take legal action to protect tenants and their wellbeing.
He adds: “Everyone deserves a safe, comfortable accommodation and landlords have a duty of care to their tenants to provide this. I want to thank our housing standards team for their quick work both in making the property suitable again and bringing this prosecution.”