15:32 PM, 3rd May 2012, About 12 years ago
A shared house landlord who ignored council orders to upgrade his property was ordered to pay more than £13,000 in fines and costs by magistrates.
A team from Selby Council swooped on the house in multiple occupation (HMO) following complaints from tenants.
They found damp in the bathroom, sinks and toilets that failed to work, fire hazards and that no gas safety checks had been carried out on a boiler, heater and cooker.
Landlord Terry Alexander, of Fulham, London, was asked to make repairs on the Sherburn-in-Elmet property, but did not comply with the request, so the council issued an improvement notice that was also ignored.
Alexander failed to attend Selby Magistrates Court for the hearing and was found guilty in his absence.
He was fined £12,500 with £555 costs
A council spokesman said: “We have a duty to protect private sector tenants and this proves that we take our role seriously. Legal action is always a last resort, and throughout this case we tried to work with the landlord to reach a satisfactory conclusion but the work remained unfinished, which is why we had no choice but to bring the matter to court.”
Landlord Charanjeet Singh was fined £7,000 with £70 costs for failing to licence a HMO in Catford, Lewisham, London.
A council inspection uncovered 10 tenants living in five rooms and sharing a bathroom in the house.
Singh pleaded guilty to the offence at Greenwich Magistrates Court.
Landlord Tina Matthews fraudulently claimed just over £1,000 in housing benefit by telling Redditch Council, Worcestershire, her partner was a tenant.
The fraud came to light after a tip-off from police about another matter.
Matthews, 33, admitted fraudulently claiming housing benefit at Redditch Magistrates Court. She was fined £250 and ordered to pay £265 costs.
Magistrates also ordered her to repay the benefits she falsely obtained.