Liverpool landlady, Violet Musoke, has been given a 3-month prison sentence for unlawful eviction and failing to respond to improvement notices for a flat she rented out.
Described as a “cruel, heartless and selfish” landlord, Musoke tried to force her long-term tenant, Dennis Adderley, 79, out of his home.
The daughters of the tenant, a vulnerable man, said she had orchestrated a cruel campaign of harassment along with other members of her family.
The disabled 79-year-old tenant who was suffering from cancer, requiring specialist equipment to live, was left living in an unsafe “barely habitable” property by his landlady Violet Musoke.
Mr Adderley’s flat in Picton Road, Wavertree, Liverpool, had a garden which was overrun with rats and had piles of rubbish strewn, while the flat’s interior was said to be damp, cold, riddled with dangerous electrics and non-existent fire safety measures.
Musoke was jailed for failing to respond properly to the council’s improvement notices as well as her protracted campaign of harassment against her tenant. She had tried to unlawfully evict Mr Adderley, a tenant of 34 years in the property, on a protected tenancy.
Protected our regulated tenancies are a throw-back to pre-shorthold tenancy days, when tenants had lifelong security of tenancy. The 1988 Housing Act introduced the Shorthold Tenancy, but did not repeal the older tenancies, many hundreds of which still exist.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Musoke’s harassment campaign culminated in a bizarre scene where landlady Musoke, and several of her family members, had duped their way into the flat and refused to leave. They even brought inflatable furniture and other furniture items with them.
The situation the flat was in was first brought to the attention of the council by the fire service. When the council officers inspected the flat they found a catalogue of health and safety issues, including:
- Floorboards missing from a second floor landing and second floor front bedroom.
- Inadequate and inappropriate fire detection and alarm system and emergency lighting.
- Front door key operated mortise which could potentially prevent a safe and rapid exit from building in the event of a fire.
- An unsafe electrical system missing a dedicated electricity consumer unit with no means of re-setting tripped fuses.
- Handrail is missing from rear yard steps.
- No effective loft insulation in the roof space.
- UPVC window frames missing handles and is allowing water penetration, damp and vegetation to grow on internal wall.
- Poorly sited cooker next to door increases the risk of scalds and burns.
- Bare timber floor kitchen surface which could not be easily cleaned.
- Rear entrance door is missing a suitable mortise lock.
Liverpool Magistrates Court were told that despite numerous warnings, Musoke remedied only one of the hazards listed and she continued to allow Mr Adderley to “live in squalor”.
Jailing Musoke for three months, and ordering her to pay £500 compensation to Mr Adderley, District Judge Andrew Shaw said:
“Dennis Adderley had brought his family up here – it was his home, his sanctuary and in recent years when his health has been seriously compromised, a place where he needed a peaceful environment.
“You allowed him to suffer, It was damp and cold – the property must have been barely habitable.
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