Landlords who rented out a garage as a flat in Islington have been told to pay over £3,000 in costs to the council.
The single-storey garage in Islington was rented out by the landlords despite having no basic facilities such as water, gas, or even electricity.
It was deemed unfit for habitation by Islington Council who therefore served a prohibition order to prevent the property from being rented out.
The landlords however appealed the prohibition notice and took the council to a tribunal.
In order to work with the landlords and reach a settlement, the council agreed to delay the operation of the prohibition order for three months and reduce the fee to £200.
The offer was intended to help the landlords, and also would have reduced costs and saved council time and resources.
However, the landlords did not comply with the tribunal directions and did not even pay the hearing fee. Subsequently, the council applied to recover its costs.
The judge concluded that there was ‘no reasonable explanation’ why the council’s offer of a three-month respite for the Prohibition Notice should not have be accepted.
He further stated that the landlords had ‘behaved unreasonably in bringing an appeal which they never intended to pursue properly and never did pursue properly. They deliberately failed to comply with the tribunal’s directions and rebuffed (the council’s) reasonable efforts to dispose of the proceedings’.
The council was awarded costs of £3,111.50 as a result of the decision.
Islington Council’s service director for public protection, Jan Hart, commented: ‘This garage had no basic facilities and should not have been let out as a place to live.
‘We respect the landlord’s right to appeal our Prohibition Notice, but as the judge found, the tribunal process was not pursued properly and this wasted time and public money.’