24 Jun 24

A landlord has been ordered to pay more than £20,000 after being found guilty of offences related to the living conditions at a property he let to a family.

Eric Moon, 81, of Rye was found guilty at Hastings Magistrates Court of three counts of non-compliance with Improvement Notices served under the Housing Act 2004.

In December 2022 the tenants of a property owned by Moon complained to Rother council about the poor condition of the property.

A subsequent inspection by council officers found collapsing ceilings, dangerous electrical installations, poor safety to stairs and steps, as well as damp and mould and general disrepair.

In addition there was no heating in the property, despite the outside temperature being one degree, resulting in the internal temperature only reaching a maximum of 13 degrees.

In total three severe Category 1 hazards for excess cold, electrical safety, and falls on stairs and steps; and seven Category 2 hazards, for damp and mould, entry by intruders, domestic hygiene/pests, food safety, falls on the level, fire, and structural collapse, were identified.

Improvement Notices were served in January 2023 requiring works to be undertaken to repair the property, but these were not complied with and no improvement to the property was made.

At the sentencing hearing magistrates commented this was a matter of high harm and high culpability. 

Moon was fined £20,000 with a surcharge of £2,000 and costs of £1,649.72.

A spokesperson for Rother council says: “The current housing crisis is significantly impacting the private rented sector, but it is important that habitable living conditions are maintained.

“This was an exceptional case where there was significant risk to the health of the tenants, and of the chance of serious injury, given the lack of maintenance at the property.

“We encourage landlords to listen to tenants’ concerns and take action to reduce hazards at the properties that they rent.”

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