Help at hand for Landlords

A senior councillor said he hopes the fine given to a landlord in Stafford will serve as a reminder of the responsibilities that come with renting out accommodation.

Councillor Patrick Farrington was speaking after Magistrates in Stafford ordered a landlord to pay fines and costs totalling more than £4,200 for breaking a number of health and safety rules – which the court heard could have put the lives of tenants in danger.

Councillor Farrington, the Cabinet Member for Community, also encouraged people who rented out their properties to take advantage of the free advice service for landlords that the authority provides throughout the year.

He said:

“We work with landlords to offer them the information and support they need to ensure their properties are safe for people to live in. By doing this we can avoid taking a case to court which is always our last resort.

“I hope the publicity from this court case, and the fine imposed, will act as a reminder to those who are renting out their accommodation that they have responsibilities for the safety of their tenants.”

The borough council run a number of ‘Landlord Forums’ throughout the year where experts are on hand to give advice and guidance as well as to talk through legal responsibilities.

Councillor Farrington added:

“All landlords in the borough are invited to attend our forums where officers can answer their queries and concerns, as well as share information on best practices or new legislation. This way we can work together to provide safe accommodation throughout the borough.”

The next Landlord Forum takes place at the Civic Centre on Wednesday 15 October at 5pm and is free to attend. For more information visit www.staffordbc.gov.uk/landlord-forum

Raymond Manning, aged 37, pleaded guilty to eight offences when he appeared in court last week relating to safety breaches at his property in West Way on the town’s Highfields’ estate. The court heard the property required a fire door in the kitchen, electrical sockets were overloaded, and there were no working smoke detectors or fire detection devices. He was served a notice to improve standards on the house but many months later had not complied with the notice.

He apologised telling the court he had ‘buried his head in the sand’ when the borough council had tried to help him.