A landlord has been told to pay more than £6,000 due to the poor state of repair of his property.
Balraj Singh Timana had been issued with an improvement notice for his property in Dudley, West Midlands, back in June 2014, and was given 12 weeks to comply. However, he did nothing to address the issues raised.
The three-bedroom house was home to a family with young children. Problems identified included damp and mould, plus electrical safety issues and a “dilapidated” staircase, as well as an unsafe outbuilding.
“This was a particularly worrying case as there were children living in the premises and the landlord had done nothing at all to comply with the notice,” commented Gaye Partridge, cabinet member for housing. “The staff in private sector housing work extremely hard to ensure the health and welfare of borough tenants which is shown in their vigilance in getting another case to a successful outcome. It is the second case in as many months and highlights our commitment to making sure that landlords who fail to keep their properties up to a safe standard will be prosecuted.” Timana was fined £4,750 and ordered to pay costs of a further £1,492.50, plus a £120 victim surcharge.
There are fears that coming interest-rate rises and buy-to-let tax relief reductions will add to the already increasing number of similar cases, as landlords struggle to pay their bills and occasionally seek to cut corners – sometimes with dangerous and illegal results. The alternative is that many will either have to sell their rental properties, or put up rents. A recent study has also found that many landlords keep their rental income “under the radar” as far as the tax authorities are concerned, and a grey economy in substandard housing is likely to result as the financial pressure on both landlords and tenants continues to rise.
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