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A landlord from Kettering has recently been fined £7,000 after failing to ensure her rental property was fit for habitation.
Kettering Council received a complaint from a tenant residing in a rental property in Bath Road due to landlord Zoe Tuffen-Roberts’ failure to appropriately maintain the home before the tenancy began.
A number of hazard were detected by officers from the council’s private housing sector team upon inspection of the property. The landlord was contacted with a schedule of works. It was requested that the problems be fixed to ensure that the property was safe for human habitation. However, she failed to act upon this, and a formal Improvement Notice was thus served. This required that the work be finished within a specified time limit.
However, a return from the council’s inspection team revealed that the changes had not been made. The lack of care exhibited by Tuffen-Roberts had the potential to compromise the safety of the property’s inhabitants. The council decided to prosecute the rogue landlord.
Tuffen-Roberts was found guilty of failing to comply with the improvement notice in front of Northampton Magistrates’ Court and was thus fined £7,000. She was also ordered to pay the associated costs, as well as a victim surcharge.
Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for housing, Councillor Mark Rowley, spoke out about the council’s lack of tolerance toward rogue landlords: ‘Kettering Council is committed to improving conditions within the private rented sector and will use all its statutory powers to ensure that landlords fulfil their obligations.’
Head of housing at Kettering Council, John Conway, added: ‘Our strategy is, firstly, to work informally with landlords to remedy problems. Where this is unsuccessful, the council does not hesitate to use its powers to ensure the safety of those living in unsafe conditions in the private rented sector.’