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£7,000 fine for buy to let investor failing to honour Improvement Notice

A buy to let investor faces a fine of £7,000 plus costs and a victim surcharge for failing to upgrade his letting property in line with an Improvement Notice served by the local council. 

Kettering council received a complaint from the tenant of a property in the town, which was run by Zoe Tuffen-Roberts; the council alleges that she failed to remedy issues agreed with the tenant at the start of the tenancy. 

Council officers visited the property, identified hazards which were considered to be a risk, and contacted Tuffen-Roberts with a schedule of works requesting the problems to be fixed to ensure the property was safe. 

However, Tuffen-Roberts failed to complete the works and a formal Improvement Notice was served, requiring the works to be finished within a specified time limit.

Upon returning to the address, the council officers found the works had not been completed and due to the risk presented to the tenant and the breach of the Improvement Notice served under the Housing Act 2004, it took the decision to prosecute.

Now Northampton magistrates have found Tuffen-Roberts guilty of failing to comply with the improvement notice and imposed a fine of £7,000 plus costs and a victim surcharge.

A spokesman for the authority says: “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.”

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