PROSECUTION AFTER IMPROVEMENT NOTICE ‘IGNORED’
Letting Agent Today reported on the prosecution of Ms Needham at Mansfield Magistrates Court, after her property in the town had been inspected by officers in April 2018 following a complaint of disrepair. They discovered ‘serious hazards’ such as ‘inadequate’ fire detection systems and first floor escape windows ‘without appropriate safety catches’, which would ‘affect the health and safety of the tenant, her young child and any visitors’.
In turn, there was an ‘insufficient’ number of and faulty power sockets, ‘a risk of falling’ due to lack of light switches, a boiler ‘that was not heating the property properly’, and mould and damp from a leaking roof. After ‘informal’ attempts were made to persuade her to carry out improvements, no work was done, leading the council to serve an improvement notice in June 2018, with a site revisit finding that a ‘significant fire safety risk remained’.
This was due to the fact that smoke alarms ‘were not connected’, and while the roof had been replaced and the electrics checked, the council ‘was considering carrying out the works needed and re-charging Needham’. At court, Ms Needham had previously pleaded not guilty to breaching the Housing Act 2004, but changed her plea to guilty before being tried, with her solicitor stating that she accepted ‘she had not done enough’, but that tradesmen ‘had not always been allowed in’.
The court fined her £1,060 and ordered her to pay a victim surcharge of £100, as well as full prosecution costs of £1,551.85.
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