Unfit home leads to court appearance
A LETTING agency and a private landlord have been prosecuted following a council clampdown on unfit rental properties.
Three men were fined £1,300 between them at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on May 27 for failing to bring a property in Lincoln Road up to standard, despite warnings from Peterborough City Council.
Landlord Asad Javaid, of Alexandra Road, pleaded guilty to failing to carry out work specified in a council improvement notice and was fined £300 and ordered to pay £300 costs and a £15 surcharge.
Mohammed Jamil and Nadim Pervez, trading as letting agency Peterborough Homelet at 228 Lincoln Road, were found guilty in their absence for the same charge by magistrates.
The pair, who both gave their address as 228 Lincoln Road, were fined £500 each, as well as each having to pay £300 costs and a £15 surcharge each.
The court case came after coun- cil housing enforcement officer Peterborough Peter Bezant found the rented house was in a state of “extensive disrepair” during an inspection on August 9 last year.
The property is owned by Javaid and was being rented out through Peterborough Homelet.
The problems found by council teams ranged from unsuitably arranged kitchen units, dampness, poor heating and hot water systems and insecure front and back doors.
A notice to improve the property was issued by the council on August 9, setting the landlord and letting agency a series of criteria that had to be met, which they failed to adequately follow.
The council has been staging an ongoing crackdown on unfit rental properties and Mr Bezant said the prosecutions should act as a warning to all other landlords and letting agencies who fail to maintain the properties they rent out.
He said: “We are very pleased with these successful prosecutions and the level of fines awarded in these cases.
“We hope this sends a clear message out to all landlords and letting agents operating in the city about their responsibilities to maintain their properties, as well as the penalties they will face if they do not comply.”
Mr Bezant added that the council would not hesitate to take action against landlords who are not taking their responsibilities seriously enough.
He said: “The majority of landlords and letting agents in Peterborough fulfil their property repair obligations without the need for the city council to step in and take action.
“However, in some cases the council gets involved to resolve issues through informal action.
“If informal action fails to produce the desired results we will not hesitate to take enforcement action.”
Advice about current housing standards and responsibilities of landlords is available from the council’s neighbourhood housing enforcement team on 01733 747474.