Flintshire Landlord Fined for Leaving Elderly Tenant in Unsafe Property

A rogue Flintshire landlord left an elderly tenant in an unsafe property with damp and mould. He was fined over £11,000.

Steven John Gleave owns four rental properties in Flintshire. One property was subject to an improvement notice from Flintshire Council after he failed to maintain it property. The flat in question, a ground floor in a two-storey terrace, was home to an elderly tenant. The conditions in the home were described by the council as ‘appalling’.

The flat was damp with black mould growing. There was also a lack of adequate heating as well as poor kitchen and bathing facilities. Furthermore, the fire safety provisions were not up to scratch and slates were falling off the roof.

Furthermore, the landlord refused to pay electricity bill arrears in another flat in the same building and refused to get the electricity meter for both flats separated. This resulted in the pensioner being forced to pay off the outstanding bill, which amounted to over £1,400.

Gleave faced prosecution by the council’s environmental health team. He was found guilty of nine offences under housing laws to protect tenants living in the private sector.

He also failed to register all four of his rental properties in Flintshire with Rent Smart Wales and did not carry out mandatory training in order to become licensed to operate as a landlord in Wales.

The council’s cabinet member for planning and public protection, Councillor Christopher Bithell, said: ‘This successful prosecution reflects Flintshire County Council’s commitment to ensuring homes in the private rented sector meet all the legal standards required for private housing in Wales. We believe everyone has the right to live in a home which is in good repair, has ready access to all necessary amenities and is free from physical hazards. Whilst we aim to reduce the health effects of poor housing conditions through a combination of advice and financial assistance, occasionally we deal with matters that are so serious a prosecution is necessary. This successful prosecution sends out a clear message to other private landlords, that non-compliance with current housing standards and non compliance with the Rent Smart Wales laws – is completely unacceptable.’

Gleave did not attend the court hearing and was was fined £11,081 in his absence and ordered to pay the total within 28 days or face further court appearances.

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