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Landlord who refused to make safety improvements hit with £5,000 fine

A landlord that refused to make safety improvements at two of her properties in Folkestone has been fined nearly £5,000.

Madeleine Scott, of London, was served three housing improvement notices by Folkestone & Hythe council after officers identified deficiencies at properties belonging to her in Folkestone.

Concerns included the risk of falling on stairs, falling between levels, and fire safety. Issues with electrical problems and excess cold were also among those identified by officers.

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But despite repeated reminders from the council and numerous attempts to communicate before deciding to seek prosecution, Scott ignored the notices - contrary to the Housing Act 2004 - and was found guilty of three counts at Maidstone Magistrates' Court.

She was fined a total of £4,500 for the offences and ordered to pay £5,000 costs and a £170 victim surcharge - bringing the total bill to £9,760.

A Folkestone & Hythe council spokesperson says: "Our private sector housing team does not prosecute lightly - in fact, the last trial it was involved in before this was back in 2016 - and only considers this action as a last resort.

"But when a landlord refuses to work with us to ensure standards are met, we will not hesitate in bringing about criminal proceedings. We hope this conviction acts as a deterrent to any other landlords not taking their responsibilities seriously."

 

One of the properties has since been sold and will shortly be undergoing extensive refurbishment, while a flat with outstanding issues at the other location is currently unoccupied.

"We are working actively to ensure the remaining remedial works are carried as the health and safety of our residents remains one of our top priorities" a council spokesperson says.

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    Why do some landlords ignore these warnings, the problem isn't going to go away, no good sweeping it under the carpet.

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    • S S
    • 08 April 2021 10:37 AM

    £10k total fine - a landlord who has at least 2 properties. That's not a deterrent. If you want to stop sub-standard accommodation then the fine has to be severe enough that the LL actually does the work. Rogue LL like this tarnish all LL. So many times LL get fines that don't really "damage" them so they continue in their poor provision.

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    Yes LL’s should heed warnings if given a real chance but not like the one we read about last week, when Council served improvement notice on LL to fix fire Alarms then came back 2 days later to serve prohibition notice making sure he didn’t have the opportunity to get it done. The Tenants got what they wanted / re-housed by Council as a thank you for keeping the place in a mess. Fines don’t improve property just makes owners hate Authorities even more, if the powers that be knew anything about business or getting the best out of people it’s not by knocking them, try encouragement instead of penalty.

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