With winter definitely settled in, surely it is not too much to ask for a property to be warm, dry and free of chronic mould? For one landlord in Bolton, his reluctance to answer his tenants pleas, and get his property ship-shape has cost him dearly.
The Bolton-based landlord was found to be renting a property with chronic damp, mound and no heating system, and has been hit with a hefty fine for his misdemeanors.
Council inspectors found that Philip Ormrod's two bedroom property had a catalogue of issues, including:
- No heating system
- A severe case of rising damp
- Penetrating damp to the chimney breast and front wall in the main bedroom
- Leaking front and rear gutters were leaking
- No loft insulation
- No restrictors on large, low level, opening first floor windows to prevent occupants potentially falling out.
Bolton Council alerted Ormrod to the issues, sending him a hazard awareness notice. The gutters were repaired, but no other work carried out.
An enforcement notice was issued on February 18, requiring remedial work to be started by March 21st and completed within 21 days. However, no work was undertaken, so a criminal prosecution was launched against the reluctant landlord.
Ormrod did not fulfill the requirements by starting the specified “remedial work” before March 21st and finishing it within 21 days, which lead to a criminal prosecution being launched.
Bolton Council carried out the works required to make the property safe, including the installation of a gas central heating system including boiler and radiators, repairs to a door and the chimney, the replacement of the rear gutter, and the installation of a damp proof course and insulation.
Ormrod must repay the council the £11,681.47 costs incurred in carrying out the improvement work, as well as a £500 fine, £539.57 court costs and a victim surcharge of £50.
We always try and work with landlords where possible to secure necessary improvements to properties they rent out. When landlords fail to carry out the agreed work, we will take enforcement action and prosecute irresponsible landlords who are putting tenants’ lives at risk. Tenants do have legal rights and if there are issues of disrepair in their property that are not being addressed by their landlord, they can contact us.Elaine Sherrington, Bolton Council’s cabinet member for Housing
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