Landlord prosecuted for unsafe House in Multiple Occupation in Camborne

On the 26 April 2017 at Truro Magistrates Court, Cornwall Council’s Private Sector Housing Team successfully prosecuted Mr Russel Pomeroy of 19 Wheal Agar, Pool, Redruth, Cornwall, TR15 3QL for several housing offences relating to his property at 15 Basset Road, Camborne.

A Council inspection in 2016 revealed that the property was not being managed adequately, placing the residents at serious risk of harm.

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At the time of the inspection, the fire alarm system was in a state of disrepair and smoke detectors were missing from four rooms   A condition of the house in multiple occupation licence was that safe, fixed, controllable heating must be provided but there was no fixed form of heating in any of the rooms with the tenants having to use portable heaters.  In addition, some of the rooms were suffering from extensive mould growth.

Mr Pomeroy entered two guilty pleas to charges that he failed to comply with the requirements of his mandatory house in multiple occupation licence conditions, and six breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and was fined a total of £2,869 - £1,386 for the offences, £1,345 costs and a victim surcharge of £138.

Stuart Kenney, Principal Environmental Health Officer from the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team said: “The Council has taken similar prosecution cases in the recent past involving serious disrepair, hazards and substandard management practices and offenders have been ordered by the Courts to pay fines in excess of £20,000 which serves to be a significant punishment that ensures that it is not cheaper to offend than comply. 

New laws came into force on the 6th April 2017 which will help Cornwall Council to crack down on the minority of rogue landlords who continue to shirk their legal responsibilities and place tenants at risk of harm.  One of the main changes is that the Council can now issue penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for a range of housing offences, which will act as a strong deterrent and significant punishment for placing the lives of tenants at risk”. 

Landlords and property agents are encouraged to join the Council’s responsible landlord scheme to stay up to date with changes in the law and any associated policy changes.  

Story posted 27 April 2017