A rogue landlord has avoided serving jail time, despite breaching a banning order and being found guilty of harassment.
Paul Sanderson, 77, was fined a total of £5,000 for two harassment offences and £3,000 for a breach of a banning order offence and was also ordered to pay £10,000 to Cambridge City Council and a victim surcharge of £190 during a sentencing hearing at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.
The landlord was first prosecuted by Cambridge City Council in 2021 after he didn’t repair his HMO on Perne Road and ignored an improvement notice. In March 2022, Sanderson was banned from renting properties and added to the national database of rogue landlords.
However, following a complaint and further investigation, Sanderson was found to be letting out a caravan at the Perne Road property. During a trial at Peterborough Magistrates Court, Sanderson was also found guilty of harassment offences under the Protection from Eviction Act and obstruction under the Housing Act for preventing council officers from carrying out their duties.
During a previous hearing, the landlord told a First Tier Property Tribunal that problems had been blown out of proportion and that he was too poor to carry out the works required. He told the court that he earnt his living selling second-hand cars to eke out his pension.
In 2013, local media reported that South Cambridge District Council had warned Sanderson he could face prison if he continued trading without planning permission from a car lot labelled an eyesore by local residents.