By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Uninhabitable building let to tenants - landlord ends up in court

A council has prosecuted a private landlord who rented out an uninhabitable outbuilding in Kings Langley.

Deborah King was initially fined £4,000 for failing to comply with a Prohibition Order after she failed to attend court in March 2023.

King requested a reopening of the case, which the courts approved. The first two hearings were adjourned at the landlord’s request. At the third hearing, at St Albans Magistrates' Court, a further request for adjournment was submitted, but this was turned down. 


The defendant failed to attend and was found guilty in her absence and ordered to pay a fine of £6,000, costs of £1,784 and a victim surcharge of £184. The total costs came to £7,968.

Dacorum council was first notified of the outbuilding after a complaint about an illegal eviction in 2021. After further investigations and a visit to the property, officers found the building had been converted into a self-contained unit and was being rented out. The building did not have planning permission or meet building regulation standards for residential use.

The unit had no fixed heating and inadequate insulation, a lack of ventilation and a number of other hazards meaning it was unsuitable for living in. A Prohibition Order was made in May, to come into force in June, banning the use of the outbuilding for residential use.

A site visit carried out in July found that the unit was still in occupation and communications with the landlord demonstrated that there would be no compliance in regard to the order. 

A council spokesperson says: “This prosecution sends a message to all those landlords who keep ignoring the regulations and trying to get away with renting out poorly managed properties. These enforcement actions will carry on helping our private tenants and install positive behavioural change in landlords."

Want to comment on this story? Our focus is on providing a platform for you to share your insights and views and we welcome contributions.
If any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.
Please help us by reporting comments you consider to be unduly offensive so we can review and take action if necessary. Thank you.

  • icon

    She got off lightly. I see JT has finally crawled out of his pit to post his usual diatribe against landlords. Now if only he would get a real job . . .

  • icon

    Comrade James, names do not signify a person's colour. What this article shows someone who is obdurate and foolish, or ill. l be fascinated to see how it plays out.

  • icon

    I wonder how cheap the rent was? Is the tenant still there?

  • icon

    I care what colour or nationality she was, there’s a Court hearing at least turn up. When I had a C/tax appeal with District Valuation Office following the legal conversion of a house to 2 Flats against the very high Banding. The Council notified the Tenant who stuck his chest out and said he wanted to appear, none of his business really I was fighting for a better rate for him and you only had one shot at it being new listing.
    Guess what he didn’t turn up but had requested an adjournment unknown to be, wasting my day. So I didn’t try. again and now they pay higher C/tax for ever, well not him he’s long gone.

  • icon

    JT is off again. Someone give him his meds before he blows a gasket.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up