A private landlord who left a mother and her three young children, including a newborn baby, without central heating for almost six months over winter has been fined £1,000.
A court hearing was told that the property on Streatlam Road, in Darlington, was in such a poor state it put the health of the tenant and her children – aged eight, six and two months – at risk.
Darlington Borough Council private sector housing officials who visited the property in March last year following a complaint from the tenant, who had been unable to get the landlord to carry out repairs, found the central heating had been broken since October 2013, faulty light switches throughout the property, draughty windows and broken stair rails.
The landlord, Derbyshire-based Kieron Munnelly, pleaded guilty by post to a charge of failing to comply with a statutory notice issued by the council to make repairs to the property at a hearing at Darlington Magistrates Court this week.
The court heard that the council officers gave Munnelly “every opportunity” to make repairs to his property before issuing a statutory notice against him, but he failed to comply.
Magistrates fined Munnelly £1,000 for the breach and ordered him to pay £500 costs.
David Burrell, private sector housing manager for Darlington Borough Council, said: “Action was taken against a landlord who left his tenants over winter without adequate heating. The private sector housing team works hard to protect tenants and ensure that they are able to live in a safe and warm home.”
Councillor Chris McEwan, the council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said:
“It is shocking to hear that the health and wellbeing of a young family has been put at risk.
“The council has a duty to act where landlords have failed to provide safe living conditions for their tenants. While we always try to work with landlords and help them, action will be taken where they fail to adhere to legal requirements”.
Source – Northern Echo, 28 Jan 2015