Landlord News

Landlord fined £2k after ignoring repair requests 

Andrew Truglia - January 22, 2020

Bridligton, Yorkshire; a landlord has been fined in excess of £2,000 after failing to comply with several improvement notices to his property. 

The landlord, who has been named as 54 year-old David Christlow, of Prospect Street in Bridlington, was ordered to pay a £2,000 fine; a victim surcharge of £170, and the repair costs of £2,282.93. 

Christlow appeared at Beverley Magistrates’ Court on January 8th, where he pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to comply with improvement notices served under Section 11 and 12 of the Housing Act 2004.

The issues were first brought to the landlord’s attention in September 2018, when a tenant notified him. Christlow acknowledged the state of disrepair and committed to fixing the problems, but chose to do nothing in the end.

The 54 year-old corresponded with enforcement officers in January 2019, again, committing to solve the issues, but by the time of an inspection in April 2019, he had still made no effort to attempt repairs. 

The inspection noted issues such as a poorly fitted front door, loose electrical sockets and switches in the kitchen and landing, the electric heating element in the bathroom airing cupboard had come away from the wall and a lack of handrails on the staircase.

Smoke detectors were in places which meant they could not be maintained, and smoke seals were not fitted on fire doors in the kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedrooms.

A week after the inspection, the tenant was contacted and it was revealed that this rogue landlord had STILL not begun any of the promised work, leading to the two aforementioned improvement notices to be served. 

The notices expired in June 2019, upon which time a second inspection revealed that none of the work had been completed. 

By September 2019, a YEAR after the issues were originally brought to Christlow’s attention by his tenant, officers found that a new front door had been fitted, but none of the other issues had been resolved. 

Most local authorities have their own guidelines on what is considered a reasonable amount of time for repairs to be completed, but Christlow’s actions were shown to be long beyond what anybody would consider ‘reasonable’. This case highlights a need for stronger and clearer guidelines on landlords’ responsibilities in situations such as this.

Chris Dunnachie, private sector housing manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, commented: “Officers from the private sector housing team had advised Christlow that he needed to make essential repairs to the property but he chose to ignore those requests which resulted in the enforcement notice, which he failed to act upon.

“This is a timely reminder to landlords of their responsibilities and ensuring properties are maintained and kept in good order to prevent potential injury to tenants and their families and ultimately prevent the necessity of enforcement action.”