In the Dock – £25,000 Fine for Welsh Landlord
A landlord in Cardiff was recently prosecuted by the Local Authority for a catalogue of safety issues in four flats that they were renting to tenants.
Following complaints from the tenants, Cardiff Council carried out an inspection using their powers under the Housing Act 2004.
Where a Local Authority carries out a formal inspection they will use The Housing Heath and Rating System Regulations which provide 29 areas of matters and circumstances. In addition to looking at the property they will take into account the vulnerability of the tenant.
In this case a number of hazards were highlighted including; defective fire alarm system, fall and trip hazards due to lack of handrails, poorly fitted and damaged flooring and low level windows with no restrictors. Other areas picked up were loose sanitation fittings and entry doors not adequately secure.
The boiler was also not working at the time of the visit so the tenants had no heating.
The landlord was served with an Improvement Notice but did not respond or carry out the works. As a result the council sent in their own contractors to replace the boiler and invoiced the landlord for the replacement.
A prosecution was brought and a hearing set for October 2022 (which the landlord also failed to attend). In total there were 18 offences and they were fined £18,750 in addition to £450 in costs and a victim surcharge of £1,800.
This case highlights how essential it is that landlords stay on top of repairs as well as making sure they respond promptly to any maintenance reported by the tenants. This landlord didn’t, and paid a hefty price.
Please note the date this article was published as the law or the essence may have changed since it was posted. You should always seek independent legal advice if you are intending to rely on any of the contents.
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