outbuilding shed converted

10 Mar 23

Dacorum council in Hertfordshire has prosecuted a private landlord who rented out an uninhabitable outbuilding in Kings Langley.

Deborah King was fined £4,000 for failing to comply with a Prohibition Order under the Housing Act 2004.

The council was first notified of the outbuilding after a complaint about an illegal eviction in 2021. After further investigations and a visit to the property, officers found the building – which had been converted into a self-contained unit – was being let out. The building did not have planning permission nor meet building regulation standards for residential use.

The unit had no fixed heating and inadequate insulation, a lack of ventilation and a number of other hazards rendering it unsuitable for habitation. A Prohibition Order was made on the property last spring prohibiting the use of the outbuilding for residential use.

A site visit last July found that the unit was still in occupation and communications with the landlord demonstrated that there would be no compliance in regard to the order. 

At the hearing at St Albans Magistrates’ Court last week the landlord failed to attend but was found guilty in their absence and ordered to pay a fine of £4,000, costs of £1,784 and a victim surcharge of £190. 

A council spokesperson says: “We are committed to raising the standards of the private sector in line with our commitments to ensure all residents of the borough have a safe home to reside in. This successful prosecution demonstrates the impact if a landlord is found not to be complying with regulatory requirements.”

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