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Landlord ordered to pay over £8,000 for catalogue of health and safety hazards

An unscrupulous landlord who failed to maintain his rental property, which included mould and a leaking toilet, has been prosecuted by Woking Borough Council.

Landlord Alan Kevin Fowler, of 22 Bainton Mead, Woking GU21 3LW, has been ordered to pay out a total of £8,432 for failing to carry out essential work despite being served two improvement notices.

When requested, Fowler failed to respond to a legal notice served under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 requiring him to provide information about the ownership and occupation of the accommodation.

He was found guilty on both accounts and fined £4,500 and ordered to pay £3,732.11 costs to Woking Borough Council, as well as a victim surcharge of £200.

From a faulty extractor fan and high pressure hot water cylinder that may not have been installed correctly to failure to carry out a full electrical inspection and install smoke alarms, there were a number of health and safety hazards identified in the rental property.

Additionally, there was mould growth throughout the property, while in the kitchen and bathroom floor tiles were cracked and the toilet was leaking.

Last year, the head of housing at Woking Borough Council vowed to clamp down on landlords in the local area that put tenants’ ‘safety at risk’.

Cllr Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council’s portfolio holder for housing services, urged landlords last August to get their rental properties in order to ensure that their tenants are safe, or risk receiving hefty fines.

Speaking about the decision to prosecute Fowler, Kemp said: “Our successful prosecution of private landlords demonstrates the council’s ongoing commitment to safeguarding the rights of private tenants in the Borough.

“Woking Borough Council acknowledges the value in the private rented sector to the residents of Woking but we are dedicated to helping ensure that landlords operate within the law and provide safe accommodation for the Borough’s residents.

“We do not tolerate poor housing standards or complete disregard for tenant welfare and, wherever possible, we will aim to build a case and prosecute against such behaviour.

“We gave Mr Fowler ample opportunity to rectify the multiple issues with his property, all of which were ignored. We were therefore in no doubt that prosecution was the only suitable approach.

“The proactive court enforcement action will act as a deterrent to others considering neglect of their property and of their duty to provide a secure and habitable place of residence for their tenants.”

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