A Walsall landlord who allowed his tenants to live in squalid conditions, has been ordered by the court to pay £5,000 for breaching an Emergency Prohibition Order that Walsall Council had made on his property.
Dharminder Singh Dale of Stourbridge was issued with an Improvement Notice in autumn 2018 to repair the property he was renting out to a young family. Instead, he chose to evade his responsibilities to the extent that his tenants were eventually left with no hot water, fixed heating or a working toilet. Given the appalling condition of the property, the Council, escalated its actions by moving the family into emergency accommodation and serving an Emergency Prohibition Order (EPO) on the property. This stopped use of the property for residential occupation until the landlord had carried out repairs to the satisfaction of the council.
Despite this Order, in July 2019 council officers discovered that Mr Dale had chosen to let the property to another family who had allegedly ‘agreed’ to carry out the repairs themselves for him. The Council prosecuted the landlord, Mr Dale for contravening the EPO.( Emergency Prohibition Order)
At a hearing held last month at Dudley Magistrates’ Court (19 February 2021,) Mr Dale pleaded guilty to knowingly breaching the Order and was fined £5,000. He was also ordered to pay the Council’s full costs of £2,300 and a victim surcharge of £181.
The presiding Judge, Mr Wilkinson said that Mr Dale had left his tenants in squalor and that he was in no doubt that Mr Dale had let greed get in the way. He added that; ‘the order was made because the property had no heating, no hot water, and no functioning toilet. The condition of the property was disgraceful and a clear message had to be sent out that landlords could not allow tenants to live in these conditions’.
Notes to editors
- Walsall Council will take all necessary action to make sure residents are protected and that the properties they live in are safe.
- The council will a rigorously pursue rogue landlords that fail to comply with statutory law and standards and therefore subject their tenants to unsafe, unsanitary and poor living conditions.
- Enforcement actions to tackle unscrupulous landlords include; prosecutions, civil penalty notices, banning orders and rent repayment orders.