Landlords face punishment over substandard properties

Published by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords who rent out properties that are in a poor state and do little or nothing to fix them have been warned of the problems and potential punishments they might face in the future.

It comes after a husband and wife in Southend were fined almost £5,000 for allowing tenants to live in substandard accommodation. The Echo has told how Mr Hon Shu Pang and Mrs Yeun Ming Pang were the subject of one of its investigations and they have now pleaded guilty to a breach of management at one of their dwellings.

The couple rent out a string of bedsits across Southend and poor standards could be bad news for dozens of tenants.

Tessa O'Connell, prosecuting, said: "One of the occupants had complained about damp and mould in his room. When he contacted the Pangs, he was told he should have opened up his windows. It is [not] for the council to constantly nag the defendants - they are the landlords and should be keeping up with the maintenance of their properties."

Mr and Mrs Pang are said to have ignored numerous warnings from the local council to improve the condition of a bedsit in York Road. An officer from the authority visited and found a hole in the bathroom, blocked drainage gulleys, damp in the bedrooms and dirty carpeting on the stairs.

Being hit by a financial penalty is bad news for landlords, as it can eat into the rent they have collected over several months. As such, it makes sense to ensure a home remains in a good state and that, subsequently, their reputation as a landlord is not tarnished.

In 2009, the Echo announced it had found the Pang family was responsible for below-par standards at two properties.

The couple's case might now serve as a useful reminder to landlords around the UK of the conditions they are expected to provide for tenants and how they must react to reports of any problems.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801559693-ADNFCR

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Published on: March 20, 2013

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