Landlord hit with far-from-festive £30k fine

It’s not going to be a very happy Christmas for a landlord in Newmarket, who has been hit with a hefty fine just in time for the festive period.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard how landlord Russell Wayne Price exposed tenants to ‘significant risk’, and found him guilty of 15 charges following prosecution by Forest Heath District Council.

Price has been ordered to pay almost £33,000 in relation to 13 charges in relation to HMOs – both of which were subject to Prohibition order served in 2008 and 2010, banning them from being used as HMOs - and two further charges or failure to provide information about the properties when requested.

The Judge believed that the properties in question posed a ‘significant risk of harm to individuals’, possibly due to a lack of including a lack of sufficient fire detection and escape routes, a lack of gas or electrical safety certificates, and a loose electrical socket.

This should serve as a warning to any other rogue landlords across west Suffolk. Mr Price cut corners and didn’t provided safe accommodation to his tenants. In doing so he put their health and wellbeing at risk and jeopardised their safety. That is why I welcome the outcome of this case which sends a strong message to other rogue landlords. The safety of their tenants – our residents – is of paramount importance. They should not be exposed to inadequate fire safety, and the other health risks that this rogue landlord allowed. It is down to the hard work and perseverance of our housing enforcement team and the shared legal team, that we have achieved this result. I know that the vast majority of our landlords across west Suffolk are conscientious and work very hard to maintain housing standards for their tenants. That is why it is important that we take action against those few that don’t.

Cllr. Sara Mildmay-White, Forest Heath’s cabinet member for housing

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