penalty

20 Sep 23

A landlord who let tenants live in properties riddled with hazardous electrics, unsafe boilers, mould and no smoke alarms must pay over £32,000 in fines and court costs.

Shropshire council told Magistrates that the condition of flats and caravans at Ashford Carbonell, near Ludlow, meant there was a potential risk to life, with problems about heating, drainage and clean water supplies.

Thomas Edward Evans, 84, did not appear at court to answer seven charges of failing to comply with a housing prohibition order, which were proven in his absence.The case concerned the main house which had been converted into six flats, and a traveller site that had been created on adjacent land – both of which were done without planning permission. 

Evans himself also lives in a separate property on the site.

Housing officers visited the site following a complaint about a faulty boiler in 2017, and were so concerned by what they found that they inspected all properties, accompanied by gas engineers and electricians.

They identified a series of ‘category one’ potentially life threatening hazards as well as others in ‘category two’.

Evans was issued with an improvement notice ordering that works be carried out to get the homes into a safe condition.

Officers subsequently visited the site several times but no progress had been made by the owner.

This continued until February 2020 when a new improvement notice was served, but then the onset of the Covid pandemic meant it was difficult to get contractors to visit.

A visit in 2021 confirmed many of the hazards still remained, including log burners in the traveller units that had been deemed unsafe four years previously.

The magistrates ordered that Evans pay a £3,500 fine for each of the seven breaches, plus the council’s costs of £5,507.83 and a £2,000 victim surcharge.

He will also face ongoing fines of £20 per day, per property, if they are occupied in future.

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