Landlord fined for not improving house

Grantham Magistrates Court
Grantham Magistrates Court
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A landlord has been left with a £1,600 bill for failing to comply with an improvement notice over a four year period for his buy to let property in Market Deeping.

Michael Lovett was prosecuted by South Kesteven District Council for not making the necessary changes to the interior and exterior of his property in High Street, Market Deeping before re-letting it to tenants.

In September 2010, Environmental Health inspectors found issues with the property including excess cold, faulty kitchen units, problems with the gas central heating system, electrical hazards and an unkempt garden.

Subsequent tenants complained to the district council of leaks to the roof, damp, mould and the failure of the central heating, hot water gas boiler and fire safety deficiencies.

However despite serving Mr Lovett with an improvement notice, improvements still went uncompleted, with him claiming ongoing issues with gaining access to the property due to tenants’ behaviour during 2011.

Despite persistent efforts to persuade Mr Lovett to adhere to the notice during a period of vacancy he continued to ignore the requests. A new tenant took on the premises from April 2014 with the work still incomplete.

Under interview he admitted failing to comply with a housing improvement notice under Section 30 of the Housing Act 2004. He pleaded guilty at a subsequent hearing where he was ordered to pay a fine of £1,000 at Grantham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday last week. He was also left with a £100 surcharge and £500 costs to pay.

Presiding magistrate Mrs J Foster said: “We are going to impose a fine. This was a serious matter where people occupied and lived in the property. This was over a lengthy period of time when matters could have been addressed.”

The district council’s business manager for environmental health Anne-Marie Coulthard said: “We know the vast majority of landlords provide a great service for their tenants in South Kesteven.

“However this fine shows that landlords cannot simply ignore problems and orders such as improvement notices so they leave properties in a safe and habitable condition.

“Our officers will always persist in ensuring housing law is strictly adhered to in rented properties to protect tenants in the district.”

Mr Lovett still owns the property, which is currently rented out.