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Landlord fined after keeping family in dangerous flat

A Herefordshire landlord has been ordered to pay over £4,000 after tenants were found to be living in a flat previously deemed too unsafe to live in.

The landlord Mr Martin Rohde (53) of 2 Cambria Cottages Bishopstone, Hereford had previously been served with an Emergency Prohibition Order to prevent the property being occupied but continued to rent his flat in Hereford out to tenants.

Herefordshire Council environmental health officers found that the property containing three flats, had a faulty fire alarm system, poor fire separation, obstructed fire escape as well as a defective electrical installation.

A family of three, including a five year old child, were found to be living in the first floor flat owned by Mr Rohde.

Mr Rohde attended court on Wednesday 30th July and pleaded guilty to the offence under Section 32 of the Housing Act 2004. The matter had originally been listed for a trial due to a not guilty plea having previously being entered. Mr Rohde was fined £2,750 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Councils costs of £1,250 along with a victim surcharge of £120.

Marc Willimont, Head of development management & environmental health at Herefordshire Council, said:

“While we support good landlords and welcome the living accommodation they provide, we will not tolerate the minority of rogue landlords that consider they are above the law. Where premises are so poor that we have to prohibit occupation, we expect any reasonable landlord to exclude tenants until the property has been bought back up to standard. Today’s verdict demonstrates that the courts will not tolerate landlords who continue to put their tenants at risk.”

There are an increasing number of multiply occupied premises in Herefordshire, which can also include self-contained flats.

Occupiers should be able to confirm that their landlord or management company have carried out regular checks and maintenance of fire precautions such as fire alarms, emergency lighting and fire doors.

Where this is not the case, Herefordshire Council’s environmental health housing team can assist and ensure that the necessary repair or improvement works are undertaken as necessary.

The team can be contacted on 01432 261761 or using the environmental health enquiry form.

Tags: Housing, Health and social care