A Conservative councillor has been ordered to pay more than £57,000 after being taken to court by his own council for being a shoddy landlord.
Having already been fined over £30,000 for failing to carry out timely improvements to a home he lets out in Primrose Hill, North West London, Jonny Bucknell, a Conservative councillor in the north London borough of Camden, has been fined again for serious hazards in rented property.
The Tory councillor was fined after being convicted for the second time for failing to fix safety hazards at the rental property.
Bucknell pleaded guilty to breaking housing laws at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court last week after being convicted of failing to comply with an enforcement notice, which was first issued on the property in Chamberlain Street, NW1, by Camden Council in 2014.
Electrical faults, a lack of fire stopping and holes in the ceiling, were among the hazards identified in the Grade II-listed terrace property that the councillor, who owns four buy-to-let properties, failed to deal with more than two years after being issued with an enforcement notice.
Faisel Sadiq, representing Bucknell, who has now been deselected by the Tory party ahead of next month’s local council elections, said that his client had been left with no alternative but to undertake all of the works himself because “he just didn’t have the money to instruct the specialists he needed too”.
Cllr Bucknell said in a statement: “My family have been renting out properties for generations and we have always done our best to be good landlords.
“This has been a very difficult time. At one point I was fined for running late with building works. I was then told to stop the works until I have listed building consents to work out how to replace a ceiling in traditional 1840 materials. The hold-up has been that does not comply with fire regulations. It has taken ages to try and find a solution.
“I had not realised that I could do some of the work in the meantime. As soon as I found out I did some of the work but still received a large fine. I hope that I can soon move forward to have the works completed.”