Paul Collins

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Landlord prosecuted for Westborough property in disrepair

by Paul Collins on 28 May, 2014

Press statement by Southend Council

Tuesday 27th May 2014
 
A landlord is paying the price for failing to address mold, rotten windows and a collapsing floor at a flat he rented out.
 
At Southend Magistrates Court on Wednesday 14th May, Kris Parmenter, 42, of Scarborough Drive, Leigh admitted failing to comply with an improvement notice issued by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Private Sector Housing Team under section11  of the Housing Act 2004.
 
In additional to being fined Mr Parmenter was ordered to pay court costs of £560, and a victim surcharge of £25.
 
Mr Parmenter must also fully repay the Council’s costs of£6,604.88 for having to step in and arrange to carry out the repairs under works in default powers.
 
Tenants who lived in the flat he rented out in Westminster Drive, Westcliff, first raised concerns about the state of the property in September 2012.
 
The Council issued Mr Parmenter with an Improvement Notice which expired on Thursday 25th April 2013, with no satisfactory arrangement or alternative plan for completing the works.
 
A Council officer inspected the property again in Wednesday 10thJuly 2013 to discover that the poorly maintained wooden sash windows absence of controllable ventilation in the bathroom and kitchen and excess cold deficiencies had still not been remedied.
 
By the next inspection on Friday 9th August 2013, improvement works had been partially completed. However, a Housing Health and Safety Rating System calculation then identified excess cold and damp and mould as serious hazards remaining at the property.
 
The Council issued a new improvement notice requiring Mr Parmenter to replace or repair the windows within six weeks.
 
At another inspection on Tuesday 22nd October 2013 Council officers found that although some windows had been forced open, they were still a source of poor ventilation and excessive heat loss. The wooden sash window frames were rotten and in disrepair.
 
The Council then had to use its powers to carry out works in default with full costs charged to Mr Parmenter.
 
In court, through his solicitors, Mr Parmenter apologised and accepted responsibility for the lack of action and offered mitigating circumstances.
 
Jacqui Lansley, the Council’s Head of Procurement, Commissioning and Housing, says:
 
“It is vital that landlords make every effort to ensure their properties are safe for their tenants to live in, and are maintained to a good standard.
 
“This prosecution shows that the Council will robustly pursue any landlord who fails to do so.”
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