Dartford Borough Council was been in the news for successfully prosecuting a local landlord for harassing his tenants. The landlord pleaded guilty to charges relating to changes the locks on his rental properties on three occasions to try to force tenants to leave. He was fined £600 with £200 costs.

This is just one of the hundreds of prosecutions being brought against private landlords up and down the country. If you take a look at the website run by housing charity Shelter you will find a map showing where the rogues have been brought to justice in England. One of the most serious relates to a rental property in Norwich. A fire left a teenage tenant so badly burnt that she was given less than a 1% chance of survival. The court found that the landlord had failed to provide even the most basic protection to his tenants such as a fire alarm and means of escape. The landlord received a prison sentence of two and a half years and was ordered to pay £20,000 in costs and £20,00 to the victim after a fire.

To take a few more cases at random:

Cambridgeshire- landlord sent to prison for 16 months for gas safety offences, including providing false safety documents

Luton- landlord ordered to pay £53,000 for operating an unlicensed, unsafe and overcrowded house in Multiple Occupancy.

Norwich – landlord ordered to pay fines and costs exceeding £50,000 for offences relating to HMO regulations.

Haringey – landlords failed to provide adequate safety features and were sentenced to six months imprisonment and ordered to pay £5,000 costs each.

Our landlord insurance clients may know of someone operating illegally in their local area. Perhaps they are ignoring gas or electrical safety or perhaps they are flouting the rules on houses in multiple occupation. Shelter invites people to use their website england.shelter.org.uk to “report a rogue”. Landlords who fail to look after the safety and welfare of their tenants should visit the site and see what terrible injuries and distress they could cause.

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