Neglectful landlord gets £18,000 fine

Posted: 4/8/2016

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The landlord of a flat is almost £18,000 worse off and has a criminal record after being punished in court for refusing to make vital renovations to his rental property.

Paul Fenton, who lives in the leafy Hertfordshire village of Radlett, pleaded guilty at Willesden Magistrates Court to offences under the Housing Act 2006, having failed to explain how the flat that he was letting for £1,000 per month had fallen into such a bad state.

The property in Cricklewood, north London, had such severe damp and mould that the chairman of magistrates said it was not fit to live in. Among other problems, it also had a dilapidated, leaking boiler and a rotting front door.

Fenton failed to carry out repairs after being serveda  formal notice by the council.

Fenton, who has owned the flat since 1990, claimed that he had not been inside it for years and assumed the tenants were happy with its condition as they had not asked him for help with repairs. He went on to say that he assumed that the cheap rent and the fact that he had allowed the tenants to break their tenancy agreement by keeping a dog and running a business from the flat meant that they were happy with the situation.

The case was delayed as the defendant claimed that he was not sure of his income and he had not completed his means form, but eventually the court fined him £16,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £1,573 and a victim surcharge of £120 – a total of £17,693.

Fenton is appealing against his conviction.
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