Council banned people from staying in property and fined a landlord for providing poor living conditions there.
Tewkesbury Borough Council successfully prosecuted Thomas Green for offences relating to the extremely poor conditions at accommodation he owned and rented out in Barton Terrace, Barton Road, Tewkesbury.
Green, of Mount Pleasant House in Tewkesbury, was found guilty of four offences relating to the property.
In March 2018, council’s environmental health team officers received a complaint about the conditions in the nine-bedroom property.
Officers attended and found the property to be without a licence for multiple occupation and in a very poor state of repair.
Many of the bedsits were cramped and without adequate heating.
None of them had hot water available to the sinks. The only hot water available in the whole property was from one communal shower which cost 50p to use.
Due to very poor conditions officers served Green with one improvement notice and seven prohibition notices, which resulted in the tenants being unable to live at the property.
The council was able to rehome all tenants who took up the offer of support in finding another accommodation.
Subsequent visits to the property in August revealed that Green had not fully complied with the prohibition notices or the improvement notice.
Cheltenham magistrates found Green guilty of the following offences:
- Failing to license the premises as a House in Multiple Occupation under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions)(England) Regulations 2006
- Offences under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 for failing to ensure adequate firefighting equipment and alarms, failing to inspect electrical installations, and failing to supply a supply of hot water to the premises
- Failing to comply with the improvement notice under section 30 of the Housing Act 2004.
- Failing to comply with three of the prohibition notices under section 32 of the Housing Act 2004
In sentencing him, the magistrates acknowledged Green was now taking responsibility for the property but they were concerned about the extremely poor circumstances the tenants lived in.
Green was fined £6,000, which was reduced to £4,200 due to his early guilty plea. This equated to £600 per offence. He was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge and costs of £1,500.
Councillor Jim Mason (C, Winchcombe), the council’s lead member for clean and green environment, said: “It is deeply concerning that this landlord was happy to house tenants in his property when it was in such a poor condition. The result of this court case is clearly a very positive one, and I hope it will serve as a message to all landlords that as a council will take our role very seriously, and we will take legal action when necessary.”
The council reminds landlords and tenants that a new law, which came into force in October last year, introduced new legal requirements for landlords of shared houses and heavier penalties for failing to meet them.