Sussex Landlord Fined £4,000 for Poor State of Property
A landlord in Worthing has been fined over £4,000 for ignoring an improvement notice from the council.
Daniel Woulfe, of Rugby Road, pleaded guilty to dismissing the notice, which was served by Worthing Borough Council regarding the poor state of his rental property on Belsize Road, Worthing.
In October 2014, council officers inspected the ground floor flat, after the tenants complained. They discovered that the one-bedroom property did not have a working toilet, had penetrating damp, inadequate heating and poor fire protection.
An improvement notice was issued under the Housing Act 2004 in December 2014, however, despite continued assistance and advice being offered, Woulfe did not conduct the repair works within the specified timescale. Therefore, Worthing Borough Council prosecuted him.
On 2nd October 2015, Woulfe was fined £2,700 plus a victim surcharge of £120 and court costs of £1,194,34 at Chichester Magistrates’ Court. The charge totals £4,014.34.
Councillor Dr. Heather Mercer, Cabinet Member for Customer Services at Worthing Borough Council, says: “The shortage of private rented properties in the South East means that a minority of landlords attempt to take advantage of tenants by providing poor or substandard accommodation. Worthing Borough Council will always take action against such landlords, including prosecution as necessary.
“The fine imposed by the court shows that this is a serious issue and validates the actions taken by the private sector housing team to improve housing conditions.”1