A Colchester landlord has been fined for poor management of his rental property after leaving a family with a leaking roof and several other issues.
Colchester Borough Council served a Housing Act Improvement Notice to landlord Simon Weir, requiring that work be done to repair leaks in the property. The landlord was also told to damp-proof and insulate the house, and repair an unsafe chimney. Weir, who is who is also a director of Michaels Property Consultants Ltd, the company which was managing the rental property, failed to carry out the necessary improvements despite repeated warnings from the council.
Weir instead instructed his letting agent to serve the property’s tenants an eviction notice. He claimed this was due to the fact that work could not be done in the property whilst it was occupied. However, Weir failed to offer the family alternative accommodation. Furthermore, the repairs were not carried out within the notice’s four-month time limit. Further legal investigation work led to the case going to Colchester Magistrates Court.
The tenant told the court that it was so cold within the property that the children had to be taken to bed at 6pm during the winter to stay warm. The mother was also too afraid to turn on the upstairs light due to the rain that poured through the loft hatch and soaked the light fittings. She was forced to take the children to bed using the light from her phone.
The landlord was found guilty and was subsequently issued with a fine of £5,000. He was also ordered to pay £3,700 in costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
Portfolio holder for housing and communities, Councillor Tina Bourne, said: ‘We expect landlords and letting agents to follow their own industry guidance which requires them to let homes that are safe and deal quickly with any problems that arise. This case shows that the Council will not tolerate poor management practices or poor housing conditions that make residents’ lives a misery and put them at risk of becoming homeless.’