An unscrupulous landlord who forced a tenant to live in appalling conditions has been ordered to repay more than £1,000 in rent received in a landmark case for Thurrock Council.
Landlord Tobe Ayandare was fined for failing to comply with an improvement notice under the Housing Act 2004 back in March. But he has now been ordered repay the rent that had been paid to him.
Officers at Thurrock Council found no fewer than ten different health and safety hazards, including rotten and insecure window frames and doors, an untested and leaking boiler and a rodent infestation, at the property in South Ockendon.
After Ayandare was prosecuted in March, Thurrock Council sought to recover the housing benefit payments paid to Ayandare during the ten week period he had failed to comply with the improvement notice.
A rent repayment order application was made to the Eastern Residential Property First Tier Tribunal under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, with £1,071.12 now successfully awarded.
Cllr Barry Johnson, portfolio holder for Housing at Thurrock Council, said: “We believe everyone should have a good quality place to live and will not tolerate landlords exploiting their tenants by taking rent, or taxpayers’ money in the form of housing benefit, while forcing them to live in unacceptable conditions.
“This is a landmark case for the council. I am delighted that not only have we been able to prosecute and ensure the necessary improvement works are carried out at the landlord’s expense, but also to recover rent for the very first time.”