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Landlord fined for failing to carry out vital repair works

A landlord has been prosecuted and fined for failing to carry out vital works on his rental property. 

Victor Robbins of Leigh-on-Sea, the landlord of a first floor flat in Burdett Avenue, Westcliff-on-Sea, was prosecuted at Southend Magistrates Court last week.

Robbins was prosecuted after repeatedly ignoring an Improvement Notice which requested the roof of the rental property was made water-tight, the flat met certain building regulations and preventions against penetrating damp were put in place.  

He was fined £3500, along with a £120 victim surcharge and £460 in costs after the case was heard on May 21. 

The council was also granted a compensation order of £1604 for previous works that were carried out in default. This followed a hearing in November when Mr Robbins was fined £2500, along with a £120 victim surcharge and £670 in costs. This money has yet to be paid and a warrant remains out for his arrest.

The case was brought after the local council’s Private Sector Housing Team were made aware of tenant complaints about damp and a subsequent lack of action by the landlord in February last year.

A Private Sector Housing Enforcement Officer inspected the property in March 2014 and confirmed the property was suffering from severe penetrating damp and excess cold due to a lack of provision of fixed controllable heating. 

It was also reported that the internal and external stairs were in a hazardous state and the gas boiler had not been serviced for a number of years.

“To ignore two improvement notices so brazenly is completely unacceptable and wrong, and so I am very pleased that the team have been tenacious in their work and have refused to give up in their quest to ensure that this landlord is bought to book and the property bought up to an acceptable standard,” said Cllr David Norman, Executive Councillor for Housing, Planning, and Regulatory Services for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

He confirmed that his team would be carrying out additional roof works in default and charging it back to Mr Robbins.   

“National regulations are in place for a reason and our Private Sector Housing Team are committed in their investigations to tackle this menace. I hope that this sends a further message to other landlords out there who are not complying with their duties,” Cllr Norman added. 

Last week a landlord in Hitchin was fined over £1,300 for failing to fit fixed heating in their rental property. 

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