A Stockton landlord must pay almost £1,000 after leaving his tenant without heating last winter.
Vivender Nath Blaggan left the house in Northcote Street, in Stockton, with a faulty boiler for three months during the coldest part of the year.
The 47-year-old, of Grange Road, in Stockton, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an abatement notice issued under section 80 the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and was fined £350, ordered to pay costs of £609.17 and a victim surcharge of £35.
The tenant contacted Stockton Council in January 2014 after repeatedly asking Mr Blaggan to arrange for its repair, when the heating failed in November 2013.
The council’s private sector housing team carried out an inspection at the property which confirmed there was a problem with the gas boiler.
The council served a notice served under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which gave Mr Blaggan a chance to carry out the necessary repairs.
However he failed to comply with the notice so the boiler was repaired by the council and legal action was taken, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.
In mitigation Mr Blaggan said that he had put temporary measures in place and provided the tenant with a fan heater and offered to pay for the extra electricity it would cost to run it.
He also said that he had arranged for repairs to be carried out but that they only lasted one week.
He had been advised he could obtain a free replacement boiler, but unfortunately the funding had been withdrawn before that could be arranged.
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, Councillor Steve Nelson said: “We are serious about tackling the problem of poor housing conditions in the private rented sector and we take the health and safety of private tenants very seriously, where conditions are not met then action will be taken.
“We hope that this case will send a clear message to private landlords that they have a responsibility to ensure their properties meet the necessary standards and failure to do so will not be tolerated.”
Stockton Council works with private sector landlords to help maintain and improve properties and operates a Landlord Accreditation Scheme which offers advice and assistance.
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 29 July 2014