‘Dangerous defects’ and other issues with rented properties will not be ignored, say officials after a landlord was ordered to pay £8,860 by the courts.
Simon Vivien Bourne was, on Monday, found guilty in his absence of two charges of failing to comply with improvement notices served on a property in Tunnard Street and a second in Windsor Terrace and one of failing to provide information to Boston Borough Council.
Boston Magistrates’ Court fined the 49-year-old after the council found the properties, used as Houses of Multiple Occupation, had what it described in a statement as ‘dangerous defects’.
The council told the court that the property on Tunnard Street had dangerous electrical wiring and gas piping. It said dampness had persisted throughout the property since the flood of December 2013.
A washing machine and a fridge had also been found to be operating in the open in the garden, connected to the electricity supply inside the house. No fire detection system had been installed, tiles were missing from the roof and the chimney stack was described as being ‘in a dangerous condition’.
At the house on Windsor Terrace the council said there were exposed light fittings, damp and a toilet soil pipe was leaking.
Magistrates fined Bourne, whose address was given to the court as Tunnard Street, Boston, £2,000 on each of the failing to comply charges, awarded the council costs of £4,480.79 and levied a £200 victim surcharge. No separate penalty was issued for the charge of failing to provide information.
Following the hearing Boston Borough Council’s portfolio holder for housing, property and community Coun Ben Evans said: “We have a stated mission to improve conditions for people living in properties in the private rented sector, and will take all necessary steps to get landlords to comply with improvements we deem necessary.
“We have been successful in working with landlords and there have been improvements to the benefit of their tenants. But where landlords ignore us and then ignore notices we serve which are backed by law there will be consequences.
“This landlord even failed to attend at court, but the case was still dealt with. These issues cannot be ignored. They will not go away.”
A council spokesman confirmed the authority had difficulty maintaining communications with Bourne and that they had several addresses for him.