Uxbridge Magistrates Court has recently imposed substantial fines on a married couple who pleaded guilty to a number of serious offences under the Housing Act and the Building Act resulting in their tenants having to live without heating, broken fire safety equipment and raw sewage outside their Northwood property.
Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors outlines the circumstances.
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The Case in Focus | Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court | Kangs Criminal Offences Defence Solicitors
- RK and SK were landlords of a four-storey building comprising a shop on the ground floor and three flats on the upper floors.
- When the property was inspected in July 2020, Inspectors from Hillindon Council discovered raw sewage pooling outside the front of the property, as the result of a leaking soil pipe, which had led to outbreaks of fly infestation and the presence of maggots. Additionally, some areas of the property were without lighting and heating, several doors had no handles and there were unopenable windows, accumulations of mould and broken smoke alarms.
- A follow up inspection in November 2020 revealed that the situation had worsened with the result that Improvement Notices were issued setting a deadline of 1 January 2021 for the defects to be rectified.
- In addition to an inspection in March 2021 showing that the multitude of hazards remained unfixed, it is reported that the defendants had failed to provide the Local Authority with copies of various documents including Leases, Tenancy Agreements and Utility Certificates.
- The Local Authority prosecuted the couple for offences under the Housing Act and the Building Act.
The Hearings | Kangs Health & Safety Regulatory Solicitors
- RK pleaded guilty to thirteen offences including poor management of the property, lack of adequate waste facilities, lack of fire precautions and failure to provide information.
- SK pleaded guilty to seventeen similar offences and also including failure to carry out works to the property and failure to carry out drainage works to ensure sanitary conditions.
- On the 4 March 2022 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, they were sentenced to a financial penalty of £17,000 and ordered to pay the Local Authority’s prosecution costs of over £10,000.
- When sentencing the couple, the District Judge commented that the property was ‘not fit for human habitation’.
Councillor Eddie Lavery of Hillingdon Council commented:
‘This couple showed scant regard for the welfare of tenants who should quite rightly have an expectation of living somewhere that meets decent standards.
This property not only fell well below that mark but was riddled with hazards and dangers that could have proved disastrous.
This sentencing serves as a warning to any rogue landlords that we’ll take tough measures to ensure homes in our borough are safe and suitable for the tenants.’
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors fields a team of specialist lawyers having detailed knowledge of Regulatory Law covering all areas.
If you require advice on any area of Building or Housing Act Law, then please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.