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Landlord hit with £60,000 fines for substandard properties

Thursday 28 November 2019

A Yorkshire property owner has been hit with court fines for a fourth time for failing to properly manage his rental properties.

Landlord Jack Collins has been found guilty and ordered to pay £25,324.60 within two months for failing to maintain a property at Beeston in Yorkshire.

Mr Collins denied exposing vulnerable tenants to substandard housing which included leaving the house with defective fire doors, a broken fire alarm, exposed electrical cables, rotten windows and no heating or hot water. One tenant was left without washing facilities for six months.

Leeds Council ruled that Mr Collins had left tenants in considerable distress, forcing them to live day to day in substandard conditions.

In February 2018 Mr Collins had been prosecuted for offences at the same property and had to pay £8,655 including fines and costs for failing to comply with improvement notices served by the local authority to ensure safety of tenants.

In addition, Collins had been fined on two other occasions in the past two years for poor conditions in his Beeston properties.

Over the four prosecutions Collins has incurred fines and costs totalling £59,217 initiated by the council.

Mr Collins' property on Sefton Terrace is one of two recently designated 'Selective Licensing' areas which is a Leeds Council initiate to improve the standard of rented homes in part of Beeston and Harehills.

From 6 January 2020, any person renting out a property in these areas will need to apply for a licence or they could be fined.

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'It was unacceptable to expect vulnerable people at this property in Beeston to live day to day in appalling conditions, resulting in considerable distress for the tenants, due to the behaviour of this landlord.

'Landlords have a responsibility in law, and to their tenants, to ensure that they adhere to and comply fully with the housing regulations including proper and timely management. In this particular case, like previous occasions, this landlord fell considerably short of the standard expected, which is why we pursued this action through the courts that resulted in the court ordering him to pay over £20,000.

'The safety of our residents remains our top priority and I want to send out the clear message that we will seek to use a range of enforcement tools if, as in this case, legislation has been disregarded by a landlord and a resident is living in a property that is substandard.' Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds Council

PROPERTYMARK RESOURCES

ARLA Propertymark members can take advantage of a range of benefits by logging into the website.

Members can download resources which include:

  • Installation of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms fact sheet
  • Gas Regulations - Danger Do Not Use Notices fact sheet
  • Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act 2018 fact sheet
  • Legal Responsibilities For Gas Safety fact sheet

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  • Tenant Fees Toolkit
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