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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Landlord Fined for Renting Uninhabitable Outbuilding

📸 ModelProp / Midjourney

In a tale that could be straight out of a property horror story, a private landlord found herself in hot water after renting out an uninhabitable outbuilding in Kings Langley.

Deborah King, the landlord in question, was initially slapped with a £4,000 fine for failing to comply with a Prohibition Order. But it seems that was just the start of her legal woes. After failing to attend court in March 2023, King requested a reopening of the case, which the courts graciously approved.

However, after two hearings were adjourned at her request, the court decided enough was enough. A third request for adjournment was firmly denied. King, perhaps sensing the tide turning against her, failed to show up at the hearing. The court, undeterred, found her guilty in her absence and ordered her to pay a total of £7,968 in fines and costs.

Now, you might be wondering, what was so terrible about this outbuilding? Well, it seems King had converted the building into a self-contained unit and was renting it out without planning permission or meeting building regulation standards for residential use. The unit had no fixed heating, inadequate insulation, and a lack of ventilation, among other hazards. In short, it was wholly unsuitable for living in.

Despite a Prohibition Order banning the use of the outbuilding for residential use, a site visit in July found the unit still occupied. It seems King had no intention of complying with the order.

A council spokesperson has stated that this prosecution sends a clear message to all landlords who ignore regulations and try to rent out poorly managed properties.

So, landlords, let's take this as a lesson: don't try to cut corners or flout the rules. It's not just about the fines; it's about providing safe and suitable homes for tenants. After all, nobody wants to end up in court, right?

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