Landlord fined for renting out unsafe house

A woman has been awarded compensation after her landlord was taken to court.

 Andrew Watson, from Chapeltown, was fined £6,500 and ordered to pay victim compensation of £1,000 after he repeatedly ignored legal notices served by Leeds City Council regarding the condition of a house he was renting out in Chapeltown.

A council officer likened the property’s state to that of slums in the 1950s and 60s.

The house was found to be full of hazards including an inadequate fire alarm and faulty electrics and was in a general state of disrepair.

The house was further found to have extensive mould and damp, a hole in a ceiling and rubbish in the yard.

The council’s housing team, who brought the prosecution against Watson, said that it was unusual for a rogue landlord’s offences to warrant them being required to compensate a tenant as well as paying a fine.




Landlord hit with huge fine

A landlady has been fined £24,000 after lying to her tenants and the local authorities. 

Diana Thompson was prosecuted by Brent Council and prosecuted for failure to licence a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and failure to comply with fire safety regulations.

Thompson convinced tenants living in her unlicensed, detached two-storey HMO property that she was a lodger.

The property was raided last year following a tip-off from council tax officers that Thompson was trying to claim a single person’s discount when in fact she was living in a home that she was also letting to seven other people.

When the property was visited by council enforcement officers, Thompson lied, claiming she was a relative of the landlady and that the first floor of the property was owned by someone else. 

Thompson’s fines included £15,000 for failure to licence a property, £5,000 for failing to comply with fire safety regulations, £4,678 in costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

Home Office investigated over English test cheating claims

A government watchdog has launched an investigation into the Home Office’s decision to accuse about 34,000 international students of cheating in English language tests.

Over 1,000 students have been removed from the UK as a result of the accusation and hundreds have spent time in detention.

A large numbers of students say they were wrongly accused.

Over 300 cases are pending in the court of appeal as hundreds attempt to clear their names.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has been making preliminary inquiries into the government’s handling of the issue since the beginning of the year, and has now announced that it will proceed with a formal investigation. The body is expected to report its findings in late May or June.

A Home Office spokesperson said, “We have been supporting the National Audit Office in its work on this investigation since the start of the year. We will consider the findings of the report once it is published.”

Tenant damaged three-bedroom house causing £7,000 worth of damage

A tenant caused over £7,000 worth of damage to a property before leaving the premises whilst still owing 11 months of rent.

Landlord Michael Walker claimed his three-bedroom property was left in devastating condition with every room vandalised.

Mould was found all over the ceiling, dirty dishes were piled on the kitchen counter and the living area had large holes in the flooring, while plaster had been chipped off the walls.

Mr Walker said the house is now infested with flies and is plagued by a rancid smell.

He said, “The tenant hop-scotched overnight and left the property in complete disrepair.

“It has been left unlivable. It’s shocking.

“It is an absolute mess at the moment. It looks like he has been doing house clearances and it has all piled up.”

He added, “That house wasn’t a buy-to-let property, it used to be my family home. I have had the property over 30 years.

“The only reason I rented it out was because I went and stayed with my 87-year-old dad at his house because he was ill.

“It has been destroyed completely – every single room.”