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


Hefty fine for landlord who didn’t bother attending court

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

Deborah King was fined £4,000 for failing to comply with a Prohibition Order under the Housing Act 2004.

The 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 - which had been converted into a self-contained unit - was being let out. The building did not have planning permission nor 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 rendering it unsuitable for habitation. A Prohibition Order was made on the property last spring prohibiting the use of the outbuilding for residential use.

A site visit last 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. 

At the hearing at St Albans Magistrates' Court last week the landlord failed to attend but was found guilty in their absence and ordered to pay a fine of £4,000, costs of £1,784 and a victim surcharge of £190. 

A council spokesperson says: “We are committed to raising the standards of the private sector in line with our commitments to ensure all residents of the borough have a safe home to reside in. This successful prosecution demonstrates the impact if a landlord is found not to be complying with regulatory requirements.”

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

    "And in other good news, Dacorum Council handed over the keys to a nice 2 bedroom council houses to a family that was forced to live in a converted outbuilding ...."
    A bit flippant I know, but it's a sad indictment of our society that there is insufficient housing for these people. I'd like to hear what happened to them, or are they sitting on the local park bench, wondering what shop doorway they're going to be staying in tonight

  • icon

    I wonder if we would be prosecuted if a homeless guy nicked a cardboard box from us to sleep in?

    How about using the £4000 fine to improve the outbuilding to meet residential requirements?

    Perhaps the landlord was elderly and lacked the intellectual capacity to understand what the rules were and "wrongly" felt their outbuilding was better than a park bench or cardboard box?

    Perhaps the landlord was younger but had the same excellent cognitive processes as someone older and thought the same?

  • icon

    Wouldn't it have made more sense for the council to work with the landlord advising and helping to get this property up to standard

  • icon

    Well that just goes to show that the council, and the law courts, and govenment are only interested in making some money out of their citizens, not helping them when in difficult circumstances. I wonder if someone camped down in one of their properties, what they would do about it? I guess the answer is easy, they would call the Police and get the person removed of course. No eviction, no law courts, no legal arguments, just plain old "move along, son!" Policy.
    It's a great pity our system has turned against its citizens, to
    Milk them like cattle, for every penny they can get out of them. Providing minimal services, in return. Just like in the book "Animal Farm". That's almost a handbook for councils.
    No doubt the pigs are enjoying their bold approach, and have buried their snouts in the ever growing trough.
    As there is such a shortage of housing, why are they not building more houses to keep up with demand? They would rather pick the low hanging fruits and turn the system into a
    Money making machine, by fining everyone in any way they can, for anything! Meanwhile there are ever diminishing
    numbers of places to live for the ever growing numbers of people in our population. Oh, that must be the Private landlords fault then! Let's blame them anyway!


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up