Kettering landlord hit with heavy fine over safety failings

GV of Kettering Borough Council offices NNL-140821-111627001
GV of Kettering Borough Council offices NNL-140821-111627001

A Kettering landlord has been fined £7,000 after failing to ensure her property was safe.

Kettering Council received a complaint from the tenant of a property in the town, owned by landlord Zoe Tuffen-Roberts.

Officers from the council’s private sector housing team visited the address and identified a number of hazards which were considered to be a risk.

Tuffen-Roberts was contacted with a schedule of works requesting the problems to be fixed to ensure the property was safe but she failed to complete the works and a formal Improvement Notice was served, requiring the works to be finished within a specified time limit.

When they returned to the address, officers found the works had not been completed and due to the risk presented to the tenant decided to prosecute Tuffen-Roberts.

At Northampton Magistrates’ Court Tuffen-Roberts was found guilty of failing to comply with the improvement notice and was fined £7,000 plus costs and a victim surcharge.

Cllr Mark Rowley, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “Kettering Council is committed to improving conditions within the private rented sector and will use all its statutory powers to ensure that landlords fulfil their obligations.”

John Conway, head of housing at Kettering Council, said: “Our strategy is, firstly, to work informally with landlords to remedy problems.

“Where this is unsuccessful, the council does not hesitate to use its powers to ensure the safety of those living in unsafe conditions in the private rented sector.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated that Tuffen-Roberts agreed to remedy issues at the start of the tenancy but failed to do so. This was based on information provided by Kettering Council.