Magistrates at South Derby Magistrates Court have issued a fine totalling almost £30,000 against a landlord in a case brought by Derby City Council Housing Standards Team. The largest fine largest fine received for a Housing offence by the authority.
Mr Adrian Ernest Dart of Stourbridge, who owns and rents out properties in Derby, was prosecuted by the team for offences concerning a rented house in Society Place, Normanton, Derby.
Following an inspection of the property in September 2016, numerous category one and two defects were discovered, including a dangerous electrical mains installation, defective sanitary fitments in the bathroom and kitchen and a lack of automatic fire detection along with disrepair throughout the house which would allow fire to spread quickly, all of which seriously put the tenant’s lives at risk.
Other hazards, such as the security, trip hazards, mould and potential structural collapse were also found.
An improvement notice was issued but ignored by Mr Dart and so remedial work was carried out by Derby City Council. The total cost of the default work came to £8,030 and this remains as a charge on the property until the debt is paid in full.
The case was heard in South Derbyshire Magistrates Court on Thursday 11th January 2018 where Mr Dart pleaded guilty to the charge of non-compliance with an improvement notice served under the Housing Act 2004.
Mr Dart was fined £6,500 and ordered to make a contribution of £2,436 towards the Council’s prosecution costs. He was also ordered to a pay a victim surcharge of £170.
As a result of the seriousness of the case and Mr Darts lack of engagement with Derby City Council Housing Standards Team, and as a deterrent to other landlords, the Magistrates added an additional fine of £20,000 with the total fine being £29,106.
Cllr Fareed Hussain, Cabinet Member for Housing and Urban Renewal said:
“The Council’s Housing Standard Team is dedicated to improving living standards for private tenants in Derby and ensuring their safety and well-being is a top priority. We are pleased to have achieve this result and hope it serves as a reminder to all Landlords to provide suitable accommodation for their tenants.”