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Landlord ordered to pay over £7,500 for safety hazards

A landlord who failed to install a proper heating system and left safety hazards across a house in Peterborough has been ordered to pay more than £7,500 in fines and court costs.

Brian Searle was found guilty at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court of failing to comply with two Improvement Notices ordering him to carry out extensive remedial work to a semi-detached house in Limetree Avenue, Peterborough, PE1.

Having found several problems at the property, including serious disrepair, a lack of modernisation and no proper heating system in place, Peterborough City Council’s housing enforcement team served the landlord with notices to bring the house up to required housing standards set by the authority.

The council served Improvement Notices on Searle in June 2017 which required remedial works to be completed by August 2017.

But the landlord chose not to make the necessary amends to the property, which was also without a fire alarm, despite the fact that the house was occupied by a single adult male who was known to have ill health and limited mobility.

Searle, of Lincoln Road, Peterborough, was fined a total of £2,500 for the offences, ordered to pay full council costs of £4,896.12 and a victim surcharge of £170, bringing the total amount to £7,566.12.

But Searle chose to appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal (RPT) in June 2017 and a date set for a hearing was scheduled for September 2017. At the hearing, the RPT upheld the Improvement notices but varied the date for compliance to January 9 2019.

Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard that Searle had failed to comply with the Improvement Notices by the revised date set by the RPT.

Cllr Peter Hiller, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This case demonstrates our zero tolerance stance towards landlords and letting agents who fail to meet their legal obligations. Such cases seriously impact on the everyday lives of those who have to live in such appalling conditions. Whenever we obtain evidence of landlords breaching legislation, we will look to prosecute where possible.”

Peter Bezant, senior housing enforcement officer at Peterborough City Council, added: “The vast majority of landlords and agents are law abiding and we want to assure them that we will continue to drive up standards and seek out any rogue landlords who think they are above the law.

“Our team continues to work with landlords and agents to ensure that their properties meet current housing standards and to support and educate those who may need guidance on best practice in property management.”

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