A landlord in Stevenage who allowed his tenant to live in an excessively cold attic with a serious fire safety hazard has been ordered to pay just over £4,500 for breaching a prohibition order.
Stevenage Borough Council decided to make a prohibition order in November 2014 under the Housing Act 2004, prohibiting the occupation of the attic room at a property in The Noke, Stevenage due to the poor standard of works to convert the attic to habitable accommodation.
The substandard conditions meant that there was a major fire safety hazard and one of excess cold, amounting to Category 1 hazards under the Housing Act 2004.
When environmental health officers carried out an inspection of the property in July last year, they found that the attic room, which was deemed a serious safety risk, was occupied – in contravention of the prohibition order. Officers also discovered poor heating and insulation within the attic room.
The landlord, Nasif Botros, has been prosecuted under Section 32 of the Housing Act 2004, for contravening the prohibition order.
At a hearing at Luton Magistrates’ Court he was found guilty in his absence and fined £1,760. He was also ordered to pay SBC’s full legal costs of £2,571.45 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Cllr Jeannette Thomas, Stevenage Borough Council’s executive member for housing, said: “The majority of landlords in Stevenage provide a good standard of accommodation and much-needed housing. These are the landlords we want to keep and encourage.
“We will not tolerate the few landlords who provide substandard accommodation and have a disregard for the health and safety of tenants.
“The council will continue to use enforcement action such as prosecution, civil penalty notices, banning orders and rent repayment orders to deal with unscrupulous landlords.”