A rogue landlord from Redruth has been fined at Truro Magistrates Court after renting out sub standard rooms that were hazardous to tenants.
The rented rooms in Camborne had no heating, no smoke alarms and dangerous levels of mould.
The case highlights what some people have to put up with in 2017 Cornwall as the search for affordable housing becomes ever more desperate, especially in the private rented sector.
There are more than 20,000 people currently waiting on the council’s housing register.
In a area where average wages are £4 less per hour that the national average and house prices fourteen times the average wage, making a home in the housing developments springing up all over Cornwall at the moment can still seem out of reach and a distant dream to many.
And so it becomes fruitful ground for rogue landlords who know there is a long queue of people desperate to find any housing at all.
Mr Russel Pomeroy of Pool, Redruth was prosecuted for several housing offences relating to his property at 15 Basset Road, Camborne.
A Council inspection in 2016 revealed that the property was not being managed adequately, placing the residents at serious risk of harm.
At the time of the inspection, the fire alarm system was in a state of disrepair and smoke detectors were missing from four rooms. There was no fixed form of heating in any of the rooms with the tenants having to use portable heaters. In addition, some of the rooms were suffering from extensive mould growth.
Mr Pomeroy entered two guilty pleas to charges that he failed to comply with the requirements of his mandatory house in multiple occupation licence conditions, and six breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and was fined a total of £2,869 – £1,386 for the offences, £1,345 costs and a victim surcharge of £138.
Stuart Kenney, Principal Environmental Health Officer from the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team said: “The Council has taken similar prosecution cases in the recent past involving serious disrepair, hazards and substandard management practices and offenders have been ordered by the Courts to pay fines in excess of £20,000 which serves to be a significant punishment that ensures that it is not cheaper to offend than comply.
New laws came into force on the 6th April 2017 which will help to crack down on the minority of rogue landlords who continue to shirk their legal responsibilities and place tenants at risk of harm.
One of the main changes is that the Council can now issue penalties of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution for a range of housing offences, which will act as a strong deterrent and significant punishment for placing the lives of tenants at risk”.
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