Huthwaite landlord fined for failing to prevent hazards at home

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A PRIVATE landlord who let his property at Newcastle Street, Huthwaite, become hazardous has been prosecuted by Ashfield District Council and fined a total of £1,665 at Mansfield Magistrates Court.

The Court heard that despite being served with an Improvement Notice by Ashfield District Council in October 2011, Kok Wah Lee, of Annesley Woodhouse, ignored the numerous serious hazards identified at the property.

These included not providing fire detectors, the presence of damp and mould throughout the property, an aged and inadequate electrical system and failure to provide evidence of gas safety checks.

After a number of hearings the case was concluded at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday, 18th January, 2013, when Mr. Lee changed his plea to guilty, accepting that he had failed to comply with the Improvement Notice, namely in relation to each hazard, by failing to complete the remedial action specified by the council in the Notice contrary to section 30 (1) and (3) of the Housing Act 2004.

In mitigation, Mr Lee’s solicitor said that his tenants were difficult and hadn’t paid their rent, but accepted he could have done more to ensure the improvement notice was complied with.

Mr Lee accepted that he should have been checking the property, was surprised by the poor condition of the property and accepted that he had failed to contact the council to resolve the issues.

The magistrates considered that the facts of the case were very serious, there being a large number of hazards at the property whilst occupied, the tenants were a family with a young child and there was serious potential for harm to them and visitors to the address.

Coun Steve Carroll, Ashfield District Council’s portfolio holder for Regeneration, Culture and Housing, said the Council was committed to providing good quality rented accommodation to its residents.

He said: “The Council works proactively with Landlords to ensure that tenants are getting the best accommodation possible. It is unfortunate that occasionally we have to deal with a case like this.

“However, were landlord neglect cannot be resolved the Council will continue to prosecute those landlords who fall outside of the law.”