Richmond landlord prosecuted for breach of Prohibition Order
A private landlord has recently been prosecuted by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames after failing to comply with a Prohibition Order served on their private rented flat.
The Council’s Private Sector Housing Team acted against East Sheen Estates Limited after responding to complaints of poor housing conditions in five of its rented flats. An investigation identified serious issues across the properties including water damage, a leaking roof and the lack of a working fire alarm system.
The investigation carried out by an Environmental Health Officer led to two Improvement Notices being issued to the company under the Housing Act 2004. After the company failed to carry out the necessary remedial works, the Council issued two Financial Penalty Notices and imposed a penalty of £10,000.
A further inspection of one of the flats showed that the condition of the property had significantly worsened and a Prohibition Order was issued to prevent the flat from being occupied.
Upon reinspecting the flat in February 2020, the Council discovered the flat was still occupied in breach of the Prohibition Order. As a result, the Council took the company to court in March 2021 under section 32 of the Housing Act. The landlord was convicted in the Magistrates Court and fined over £15,000.
The Council has also sought a Rent Repayment Order of £6,857.18 for one of the flats, which East Sheen Estates Limited will be required to pay within 28 days.
Nick Steevens, Head of Regulatory Services for Richmond Council, said:
“Renters in Richmond upon Thames should not be subject to rogue landlords who leave their properties in dismal conditions and who fail to act when issued with Improvement Notices.
“The Council’s Private Sector Housing Team works hard to investigate complaints and improve the borough’s housing standards. We are pleased with the outcome of this investigation and encourage residents who might be experiencing issues to contact us.
“Rogue landlords should take notice that the Council will not hesitate to act when it comes to sub-standard housing.“
Any landlord receiving an Improvement Notice or Prohibition Order is encouraged to seek professional advice to ensure compliance. London Property Licensing recently spoke at the Landlord Law Conference on ‘Understanding the Housing Health and Safety Rating System’ and can assist, if required (contact us).
A free guide explaining the property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is available here.
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