Carrington Walker Weston Mercury Published: September 8, 2021
A landlord has been fined more than £15,000 after an investigation found it had failed to improve housing conditions in three Weston properties.
Three different tenants had complained to North Somerset Council regarding living conditions in properties belonging to Honeylark Limited.
These complaints were made between November 2017 and May 2019.
North Somerset Council’s deputy leader, Cllr Mike Bell, reassured residents that the authority is committed to improving living standards in the district.
Cllr Mike Bell said: “Everyone has the right to live in a safe home.
“We are committed to tackling inequalities in North Somerset and to improving the standard of accommodation in the private rented sector.
“This case demonstrates that we will take tough action against those who are failing to comply with their legal responsibilities and create a level playing field for the majority of good and well-intentioned landlords.”
Following an investigation, the council’s private rented housing team made ‘informal requests’ for Honeylark Limited to improve conditions in each property.
The landlord did not comply.
Cllr Bell added: “Ultimately, by ignoring these notices, the owner faces a far greater financial cost than the costs of carrying out the works.
“This should be a reminder to all landlords to comply with minimum standards and we encourage membership of a rent with confidence accreditation scheme.”
Formal enforcement action was taken in 2018 and 2019 when the council served three improvement notices under the Housing Act 2004 on the properties.
Honeylark was then served with three civil penalty notices in July 2020 for failure to comply with each notice.
An appeal was made to the First Tier Tribunal after these notices were received, though the hearing would be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Eventually the tribunal upheld the council’s decision to issue the penalty notices, praising the council’s approach to enforcing housing standards.
Honeylark now faces a total bill of £15,320.70 for the three penalty notices.