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Prison sentence for elderly landlord claiming to be ā€˜helping peopleā€™

A landlord in his 70s who claims he was just ‘helping people’ has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

That’s because he housed up to nine tenants in a property which had been the subject of a ban.

Robert Crow, 71, was convicted of 18 offences relating to dangerous and insanitary living conditions in 2018 and was subsequently permitted only to have a maximum family members and long-standing friends visit the property in Southend at any one time.


But when council officers visited in January 2019, they found various people in different rooms, including one saying he worked for Crow in return for accommodation. A woman said she was renting from Crow and other tenants were found with signs of domestic activity such as washing hanging out to dry.

Basildon Crown Court heard that Crow, who admitted breaching the lettings ban, believed he was just helps people while at the same time being in substantial mortgage arrears on the property.

Judge Andrew Hurst said: “You had in effect blighted the lives of those around you ... [the ban] was there to protect them from any other future incident.

“In mitigation it was said you fell behind the times in terms of your obligations. You yourself reported anti-social behaviour on several occasions. You were at times somewhat overwhelmed by the tenants in your property.”

Crow received a six-month suspended prison sentence, a £10,000 fine and must pay £8,000 towards prosecution costs.

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    The LL wasn't doing the anti-social behavior and tried to stop it, once again the the occupants that caused the anti-social behavior did not get prosecuted, fine the powerless LL instead, probably another miscarriage of justice and possibly another case of using the LL as a lever to get housed by the Council.
    The LL was a bigger fool to house them he should have left them on the Street, let the Mortgage Company re-possess what difference to him, to a pensioner getting himself a Criminal Record for good measure before he dies.

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    Sounds like there was more to this than a rogue landlord. Potentially a person out of his depth and to a degree being exploited by his "tenants". Especially if he had reported some of them for antisocial behaviour. The fact that he was only allowed close family or friends to be in the house suggests he was a live in landlord. Saying he was "somewhat overwhelmed" by the tenants in his property is a cop out. May be he should have been helped rather than prosecuted? May be not?

    Algarve  Investor

    Would we give the same leeway to rogue tenants? I think it's only fair we call out and damn people when they do wrong, no matter their age and no matter if they are a landlord or tenant, and I think in this case criticism is fully justified and he was banged to rights.

    Having someone there who worked for Crow in return for accommodation doesn't look good at all.

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    I agree or the Court should throw out and fine the Tenants for anti-social behavior, also fined and prosecuted the Council for not doing their job when this was reported many times.

    Algarve  Investor

    Wait, so it's never the landlord's fault and in this case the landlord has nothing to answer for? Funny how the council and court think differently.

    I get the need to constantly absolve landlords of blame, and lay the blame on tenants instead, but sometimes it just doesn't fly or hold any credence.

    Sometimes tenants are the victims and not at fault, just as not all landlords are bad. It's important to call out bad practice wherever we see it to improve the sector, and the above is an example of that. We need to accept he did wrong and learn from it, rather than apportioning blame elsewhere or making excuses. That's my view anyway.

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    Algarave, not saying the LL is always right, not saying the Tenants always right, not saying the Court is always right it just they have the power to do anything they like with you. The LL was powerless to act with regard to Anti-Social behavior or anything else, please tell me what he could have done he reported it to Council several times, Council could have taken action against the Tenants who were causing the problem never do. Regarding the Courts I don't know why you bother to mention that every LL that goes there has to plead guilty you must know that its well documented, or you can plead not guilty and the fine or sentence doubles immediately. All LL's rights have been removed so now prosecute his for not doing what he is not allowed to do.

  • Fery  Lavassani

    I was born in the middle east, so I cannot be branded as "racist". When I started reading the article, I thought I am going to see names like Husain, Tariq, Amjad and so on. This one to my surprise was a English name. So lawlessness has no boundaries.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Fery, I was thinking the same !


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