Landlords in Hertfordshire given stern warning
Published by Sarah Ashcroft
Dozens of landlords who own properties in and around Hertfordshire have been given a reminder that a failure to manage their homes in accordance with all the relevant rules and regulations will lead to prosecution and possible punishment.
About 40 members attended a recent meeting of landlords in Sawbridgeworth, where East Hertfordshire District Council spelled out its plans, reports the Harlow Star. Pastor Paul Allen, 48, was recently prosecuted in relation to offences at several properties and his is an example the authority is not scared to repeat.
He was fined £400 for each of the 26 breaches of housing management regulations he committed, which were spread over three residences. With victim surcharges and costs added to his penalty, he was told to cough up in excess of £21,000.
Councillor Linda Haysey, executive member for health, housing and community support at the council, said: "This prosecution sends out a firm message to all landlords in Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth and throughout East Herts that breaches will not be tolerated. The court case proves that this is not an idle threat. One landlord has now racked up a bill of nearly £22,000."
A speaker from Broxbourne Council also attended the meeting to make clear the importance of working out how the changes to housing benefits will affect landlords. A solicitor was even called in to remind property owners of the correct procedures to go through when bringing a tenancy to an end.
It could not be clearer that landlords must be up to speed with the law and act according to it when dealing with tenants. Sub-standard conditions or illegal practices will not be tolerated and could lead landlords into hot water.
In the pastor's case, the local council was alerted to his offences by Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service in 2009. This shows that people from any walk of life could discover breaches and be well within their rights to reveal them to the local authority, potentially leading to a prosecution.
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Published on: March 15, 2013
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