19/09/2023 - Permalink

Landlord fined £32,000 for allowing tenants to live in unsafe properties

Related topics: Public protection

A Shropshire landlord has been fined more than £32,000 for allowing tenants to live and sleep in unsafe properties– in a prosecution brought by Shropshire Council.

At Telford Magistrates’ Court on Monday 18 September 2023, Thomas Evans – the owner of land known as the Oakery near Ludlow – was found to be in contravention of seven ‘Prohibition Orders’ and fined £3500 for each offence, plus a victim’s surcharge of £2000 and costs of £5507.83 – a total of £32,007.83.

The Defendant has 28 days to pay, and the Court ordered a recurring penalty of £20 per day for each continuing breach to the prohibition orders.

The Oakery site consists of one main house, split into six flats, plus a travellers’ site made up of 10 plots.

The Oakery originally came to the attention of Shropshire Council in 2017, following a complaint regarding a defective boiler/log burner. Other hazards were then identified, including issues with electrical installations, incorrectly installed solid fuel appliances, and lack of hot water provision.

The Court heard that these issues had not been addressed and in fact more problems were identified at the site which led to the decision to issue Prohibition Orders in March 2023. These related to sanitation, drainage, heating, carbon monoxide, fire safety, drinking water, damp and mould. These posed serious risks to the health and safety of Mr Evans’ tenants

Chris Schofield, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for planning and regulatory services, said:

“Shropshire Council has made extensive efforts over a number of years to address the clear shortcomings and health and safety risks in the accommodation provided at The Oakery.

“Mr Evans’ failure to comply or cooperate with our many requests to remedy the faults – and to allow his tenants to continue to live in his properties – presented a very serious risk to his tenants.

“His lack of action led to this case going to court, and the seriousness of these offences has clearly been recognised by Court with a significant fine imposed. This case should serve as an important warning to other landlords, who should be aware of the consequences of failing to comply with Prohibition Orders.”