25 Nov 2021

A landlord in Newcastle has been barred from letting out his property and could face a fine after allowing the house to dramatically fall into disrepair.

Rats had gnawed through electrical cabling, meaning the electricity was unsafe.

The heating system was knocked out, so there was no heating or hot water.

Meanwhile the house had defective double glazing, missing balusters on the staircase which could cause trips and falls, leaking pipework, holes in the ceiling, damp, mould, insecure front and back doors, and no smoke detector in the ground floor hallway.

The property was used by a couple and nine children – but Newcastle City Council had to find them emergency accommodation due to the state of the property.

The landlord was served with a Prohibition Order by the council after failing out to carry out maintenance – the council said it would consider lifting the order again if the property is refurbished.

If he doesn’t comply with the notice he could face a hefty fine.

Councillor Linda Hobson, cabinet member for housing and regulation, said: “This is a shocking example of a landlord failing to fulfil his legal obligations. My heart goes out to the family who lived there and endured appalling living conditions.

“Thankfully they are now in accommodation that is clean, warm, and safe – not a lot to ask for in the 21st century it would seem, however, some landlords are failing in their duty of care to provide anything like decent living conditions.

“In Newcastle we are determined to raise standards in the private rented sector – a growing and increasingly important part of the housing market.

“We have worked with landlords, the vast majority of which are good, to introduce a property licensing scheme – but instances like this just underline the value of these schemes.

“Landlords, who fail to maintain basic living standards, should be aware that we won’t hesitate to step in and use our powers to stop them renting out their properties.”

Newcastle City Council has a licensing scheme in city, which includes 14,500 of the 50,000 properties in the city that are private rented.

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