April 10

Landlord Prosecuted for Unsafe Property


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Karen Kettlewell, a private landlord residing at Airdale Drive in Bridlington, has recently found herself in legal trouble. The issue arose from her failure to comply with a prohibition order under the Housing Act 2004, which had been imposed to address safety concerns within her property. Despite the order, tenants continued to reside in the hazardous premises, prompting legal action against Kettlewell.

At the Beverley Magistrates’ Court, Karen Kettlewell admitted to breaching the prohibition order, acknowledging her failure to ensure the safety of her tenants. This breach led to a fine of £1,500 being imposed on her. The case highlights the importance of landlords fulfilling their legal obligations to maintain safe living conditions for their tenants, and serves as a reminder of the consequences that can arise from neglecting such responsibilities.

This incident underscores the significance of proactive property management and regular inspections to identify and rectify any safety hazards promptly. Landlords have a duty of care towards their tenants, and failure to uphold this duty not only jeopardizes the well-being of occupants but also carries legal repercussions. It emphasizes the need for landlords to prioritize tenant safety and adhere to all relevant housing regulations to avoid facing fines or legal action in the future.

Kettlewell was mandated to pay a total sum of £1,500.12, comprising a £120 fine, costs amounting to £1,332.12, and a £48 victim surcharge. This ruling stemmed from a case involving her property in Bridlington, where a prohibition order was issued to her in April 2022 subsequent to an inspection conducted by private sector housing officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

During the inspection, officers identified significant disrepair within the property, posing an immediate threat to the safety of its occupants, comprising two adults and five children. The property exhibited various defects, including a malfunctioning central heating system, absence of hot water, hazardous and defective electrical installations, presence of dampness and mold, a partially collapsed ceiling, and issues related to penetrating dampness.

These findings underscored the dire state of the property and emphasized the pressing need for remedial action to safeguard the well-being of the residents. The court’s decision to impose penalties on Kettlewell reflects the severity of the situation and underscores the importance of landlords ensuring the habitability and safety of their rental properties.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the legal obligations that landlords must fulfill in providing safe and habitable accommodation to their tenants. Failure to address significant disrepair issues not only jeopardizes the well-being of tenants but also exposes landlords to legal consequences and financial penalties. It highlights the crucial role of local authorities in enforcing housing standards and holding landlords accountable for maintaining their properties to acceptable standards.

The council stepped in to provide emergency temporary accommodation to ensure the safety of the family affected by the situation.

A legal notice issued in 2022 prohibited the residential use of the property until the hazards outlined in the order were mitigated or eliminated.

In July 2023, authorities found that Kettlewell had violated the prohibition order by permitting the property at 21 Clarence Road to be re-occupied and leased out, all while failing to address the majority of the hazards identified in the notice.

Chris Dunnachie, the private sector housing manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, highlighted the seriousness of breaching a prohibition order within the housing sector, emphasizing its classification as a significant criminal offence. In his assessment, such breaches pose considerable risks to tenants and contravene fundamental principles of tenant safety and welfare. He underscored the paramount importance of upholding stringent regulations to safeguard individuals from potential harm and ensure that landlords fulfill their duty of care to their tenants.

In the specific case discussed, Dunnachie noted the landlord’s deliberate decision to reintroduce tenants to a property plagued by severe hazards, despite being subject to a prohibition order. This reckless act, compounded by the landlord’s continued collection of rent from tenants residing in perilous conditions, demonstrated a blatant disregard for tenant welfare and safety. By prioritizing financial gain over tenant well-being, the landlord exhibited a concerning lack of responsibility and ethical conduct, warranting legal intervention and accountability.

Through the prosecution of such cases, Dunnachie envisioned sending a clear message to landlords and property owners about the repercussions of flouting housing regulations and compromising tenant safety. He expressed hope that robust enforcement actions would serve as a deterrent, dissuading others from engaging in similar negligent practices. By fostering a culture of accountability and responsibility within the housing sector, authorities aim to uphold the highest standards of safety and welfare for all tenants, thereby fostering trust and confidence in the rental housing market.


Bridlington, Landlord Prosecuted for Unsafe Property

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