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Rogue landlord banned from renting out property that lacked ‘basic standards’

An unscrupulous landlord whose tenants were living in degrading and hazardous conditions has been banned from renting out his property.

Several complaints were made about notorious landlord, Robert Crow, who let 19 Devereux Road in Southend, SS1.

Water leaking through lights, a filthy shared kitchen, repulsive bathroom facilities, and a lack of washing facilities, were among some of the major issues uncovered during an inspection of the property.

Tenants at the property also found that their tiny bedrooms were cluttered with the landlord’s personal belongings when they moved in to the property.

Unfortunately, anti-social behaviour was not uncommon in the property, which was also the scene of a stabbing in October last year.

Magistrates found Crow guilty of 18 offences relating to the dangerous, insanitary and substandard conditions of the property, which he shares with his tenants.

The landlord was fined £36,000, ordered to pay costs of £7,865.10 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Crow was also served a Criminal Behaviour Order preventing anyone from entering the property other than himself and his immediate family. Breaching the order could result in up to two years’ imprisonment.

Crow has now been ordered to pay close to £90,000 in fines and costs over the past couple of years due to a number of offences relating to his property in Southend.

Cllr Tony Cox, cabinet member for adults and housing, welcomed the prosecution.

He commented: “This landlord has knowingly been putting his tenants at undue risk and failed to provide even the most basic standards of habitation.

“We have tried to work with the landlord to bring the property up to standard for several years but he has taken little to no action, yet continued to cash in his rent.

“Anyone who sees the photographs taken at this house would be rightly disgusted and would immediately understand why we have taken such firm action in this instance.

“The property was not fit to be rented out and this prosecution ensures that Mr Crow won’t be able to in future.

“The justifiably high price he is now paying for his reckless neglect should serve as a warning shot to other landlords who think it is acceptable to rent out severely substandard properties.”

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