Harrogate landlord fined £15,000 for dangerous living conditions
A landlord who forced a tenant to live in dangerous conditions has been fined £15,000 after an investigation by Harrogate Borough Council.
Kingspark Limited was taken to a tribunal after their property on Electric Avenue, Harrogate, was found to have fire and gas hazards, as well as mould and structural issues.
It came after an improvement notice was initially served on a previous owner who failed to carry out repairs, but Kingspark became responsible for the problems when it purchased the property in September 2018.
Coun Mike Chambers, cabinet member for housing and safer communities, said: “While there are no doubt many landlords who provide excellent residential and/or business accommodation, there will sadly always be those who put the financial gain ahead of the safety of their tenants.
“Even after being served with an improvement notice this landlord failed to act responsibly and I’m therefore delighted that, thanks to the extensive work by numerous officers at the council, we have been able to serve them with such a significant penalty."
The council said it gave the landlord three months to comply with the notice, but they failed to undertake the repair works by the deadline.
And although the landlord eventually did complete the works, it was done after the deadline date specified in the notice. Kingspark then appealed the penalty and the matter was determined at a hearing earlier this month.
The tribunal concluded Kingspark’s "delay in agreeing to carry out the works was unjustifiable" and "it did not admit its culpability but continued to blame the tenant for the condition of the property", according to the council.
Coun Chambers said: "This is an important reminder for landlords that as the housing authority we have the powers, and where necessary, will use them to protect tenants and residents.”