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


In Court At Last - landlord after two-year investigation

A private landlord who let three of his properties fall into dangerous disrepair has been ordered to pay almost £14,000 after a court case brought by a council.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard that David Waddington allowed vulnerable tenants to live in conditions that potentially caused a risk to their health and safety.

These included damp and mould, exposed electrical hazards, holes in the ceiling, excessive cold, and fire risk.


Waddington promised that essential repairs would be carried to the properties in Burnley, but in reality only carried out minor improvements and didn’t rectify the main issues of concern.

Waddington, whose last known address was in Clitheroe, admitted three offences of breaching improvement notices under the Housing Act 2004. He was fined £3,840 per property (a total of £11,520) and ordered to pay a £2,000 victim surcharge and £450 in costs.

A council spokesperson says: “After almost two years’ of investigation and serving legal notices on the landlord, we’ve finally seen some kind of justice for his tenants.

“They were all vulnerable in one way or another and were forced to live in such poor conditions that you could see the effect it was having on their health and well-being.

“The vast majority of private landlords care about the conditions their tenants live in and do their best to look after them. 

“The message needs to get out that Burnley Council won’t tolerate those poor landlords that don’t care about their tenants and the sometimes appalling conditions they are forced to live in. We don’t want them in our borough.”

The court was told that council officers initially visited one of the properties after complaints were raised. The poor state of the house caused council officers to look at other properties owned by Waddington and similar issues were found in the other two houses.

Waddington was told to carry out a list of repairs on each of the three properties but on return visits the officers found that only relatively minor work had been carried out and there were still outstanding issues that needed addressing. 

He was subsequently served with improvement notices to carry out essential work on all the properties.

The court heard that Waddington had been given ample time to comply with the improvement notices but failed to do so. 

Some work was completed but major issues were left outstanding.

The council is working with contractors to carry out repair work to remove the hazards and make the houses safe.

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

    This is the sort of LL that gets us all a bad name.


    Actually No. It is the media hype that gets us a bad name. If you want to fix a problem in private sector, you introduce a regulatory body. The councils certainly are not a regulatory body but they are trying to be one, not knowing how to be one.

  • icon

    Vulnerable tenants should be avoided at all costs, leave them to councils to house

  • icon

    So when the council discovered these vulnerable tenants in such poor and dangerous living conditions why didn't they remove them and put them in suitable accommodation. That way removing the landlords source of income and danger to the tenants. What happens now, have the conditions improved?


    Exactly right. If the hazards were category 1 and an imminent risk of serious harm, then the council should have closed the properties down and this can be done immediately. The occupants are rehoused and the landlord is instantly deprived of rent until such time as the works are done and the closure is rescinded. A bonus is the enormous amount of officer time saved to then chase other terrible landlords. And as for publicity, a closure is also news. Alas, it's a strain on the homelessness team but I think it's indefensible to leave tenants in dangerous conditions.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up