Council fine for landlord of Truro property upheld

A fine of over £12,700, handed down by Cornwall Council to a landlord in Truro for housing offences, has been confirmed after an appeal by the landlord to a Property Tribunal failed.

Cornwall Council is committed to protecting residents, supporting good and improving landlords and taking a robust stance against criminal landlords.

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The Council fined property owner, Kam Tao (Restaurants) Limited, earlier this year under powers granted to local authorities in 2017.  The powers allow the Council to issue Civil Penalty notices up to a maximum fine of £30,000 for certain Housing Offences as an alternative to prosecution. 

The landlord decided to appeal the Council’s decision to issue the fine to the First Tier Property Tribunal.  The Tribunal has now published their decision upholding the Council’s action and so the fine of £12,729.30 stands.

Cornwall Council’s Private Sector Housing Team first inspected 14 River Street in Truro in December 2017 and identified serious high risk housing problems including

  • no fire detection system, a lack of fire doors and a lack of fire safety management
  • two rooms sub-divided into small, undersized living spaces measuring less than 4.5 m2
  • a lack of fire separation between the shop areas on the ground floor and the living accommodation
  • defective and boarded up windows
  • electrical safety deficiencies.

The Council served enforcement notices to require an improvement to the premises, but the notices were not fully complied with in the required time scale which is a criminal offence.

Since 2017 Local authorities have had powers to issue Civil Penalty Notices for some housing offences.  Cornwall Council has so far caught up with nine rogue landlords fining them a total of £104,586 for renting out unsafe accommodation and placing the health and safety of residents at risk.

This action also serves as a strong deterrent to other rogue landlords.

All landlords are invited to join the Councils free ‘Responsible Landlords Scheme’ which aims to provide advice and information to all landlords to assist with minimum housing standards and legal compliance.

 

Story posted 04 December 2019