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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Landlord left with £1,600 bill for ignoring improvement notice

A Lincolnshire landlord has been left with a £1,600 bill for failing to comply with an improvement notice over a four-year period.

Michael Lovett was prosecuted by South Kesteven District Council for not making the necessary changes to the interior and exterior of his property in Market Deeping before re-letting it to tenants.

In September 2010, environmental health inspectors found issues with the property including excess cold, faulty kitchen units, its gas central heating system, electrical hazards and an unkempt garden.

Subsequent tenants complained to the council about leaks in the roof, damp, mould, and the failure of the central heating and hot water gas boiler.

However despite serving Lovett with an improvement notice, improvements still went uncompleted, with him claiming ongoing issues with gaining access to the property due to tenants' behaviour during 2011.

Despite persistent efforts to persuade Lovett to adhere to the notice during a period of vacancy he continued to ignore the requests and a new tenant occupied the premises from April 2014 with the work still incomplete.

Under interview he admitted an offence under Section 30 of the Housing Act 2004 and pleaded guilty at a subsequent hearing where he was ordered to pay a fine of £1,000,  £100 surcharge, and £500 costs at Grantham Magistrates' Court on 23 April.

Presiding magistrate Mrs J Foster said: "We are going to impose a fine. This was a serious matter where people occupied and lived in the property. This was over a lengthy period of time when matters could have been addressed."

South Kesteven District Council  business manager for environmental health Anne-Marie Coulthard said: "We know the vast majority of landlords provide a great service for their tenants in South Kesteven.

"However this fine shows that landlords cannot simply ignore problems and orders such as improvement notices so they leave properties in a safe and habitable condition.

"Our officers will always persist in ensuring housing law is strictly adhered to in rented properties to protect tenants in the district."

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