Derbyshire Landlord Fined after Poorly Maintained Property Hospitalises Tenant

A Derbyshire landlord has been fined after his buy to let property was found to be in such a negligible condition that his tenant was hospitalised.

Landlord Martin Ambler was taken before the courts after tenant Mike Collins was forced to go to hospital due to the state of the property. The landlord had been complained about to the council several times prior to this.

Mr Collins had been residing in a flat with walls covered in fungus surrounded by black spots. He was even forced to throw out several items of clothing as they had become mouldy. Collins’ neighbours also reported that they were afraid to let their children play outdoors for fear of rats from the property after Ambler allowed rubbish to accumulate outside.

North East Derbyshire District Council’s environmental health team had received 11 complaints about waste accumulating at a property in North Wingfield owned by Ambler. The authority also received further complaints about other properties owned by the landlord relating to damp and mould, lack of heating, blood stained walls and faulty electrics.

Ambler failed to comply with council requests to remove the waste and was served with a community protection notice in February. The notice required that the rubbish be cleared within 14 days. The landlord contacted the district council and had a skip at the property, however there was still a large amount of waste which he failed to clear. The authority then began court proceedings for his failure to comply.

Ambler was charged a £2,500 fine and issued with a four-year Criminal Behaviour Order.

A district council spokesman commented: ‘Despite the defendant pleading guilty, the magistrates’ court imposed the maximum fine and the chair of the bench stated that the ‘appalling nature of the offence justified this unusual step’. The problems became so bad at properties owned by Ambler that a neighbour considered selling their property and was too afraid to let their children play outdoors due to the presence of rats. A tenant of a different property was hospitalised as a result of the condition in which the property was let.’

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