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Landlord ordered to pay over £8,500 for renting out unsafe property

A landlord who confessed to renting out houses in Stotfold and Arlesey with serious safety hazards has been ordered to pay more than £8,500.

Melvyn Bruce, of Hitchin Road in Stotfold, pleaded guilty last week at Bedford magistrate’s court to seven offences relating to four buy-to-let properties – two on the same road as primary residence and two on House Lane in Arlesey.

Bruce was taken to court following an investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council housing solutions officers, prompted by tenants’ complaints, after failing to failing to act on improvement notices issued in February last year relating to all four buy-to-let properties which were found to contain serious hazards, including either a lack of, or poorly, installed gas and electrical safety equipment.

After pleading guilty to seven of eight charges brought against him, Bruce was handed fines, costs and a victim surcharge totalling £8,558.34.

Speaking after the court case, councillor Carole Hegley, who is responsibility for housing at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Cases like these can be notoriously difficult to investigate and bring to court, so I am delighted at this excellent result and that the landlord has been brought to justice.

“Residents who rent privately should be able to do so with confidence that the conditions do not present a hazard to their health and safety.

“That is why we will continue to pursue landlords and managing agents who fail to rectify hazards, as well as those who fail to produce the correct legal documentation.”

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