Kings Langley landlord fined for renting out property without working heating

The landlord did not contact the council before renting out an unsuitable outbuilding
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A landlord renting out a property without working heating in Kings Langley has been fined.

Deborah King, of Rucklers Lane, Kings Langley was initially fined £4,000 for failing to comply with a Prohibition Order after she failed to attend court in March 2023.

King requested a reopening of the case, which the courts approved.

The fine was increased after the landlord repeatedly failed to appear in courtThe fine was increased after the landlord repeatedly failed to appear in court
The fine was increased after the landlord repeatedly failed to appear in court

The first two hearings were adjourned at the landlord’s request. At the third hearing, at St Albans Magistrates' Court on 25 October, a further request for adjournment was submitted, but this was turned down. The defendant failed to attend and was found guilty in her absence and ordered to pay a fine of £6,000, costs of £1,784 and a victim surcharge of £184. The total costs came to £7,968.

Dacorum Borough Council started investigating the property in 2021 after a complaint about an illegal eviction in 2021.

This related to a property in Rucklers Lane, the council building, which had been converted into a self-contained unit and was being rented out.

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The authority discovered that the building did not have planning permission or meet building regulation standards for residential use.

The unit had no fixed heating and inadequate insulation, a lack of ventilation and a number of other hazards meaning it was unsuitable for living in, council officials discovered.

A Prohibition Order was made on 10 May 2022 banning the use of the outbuilding for residential use.

A warrant was obtained to search the property in July 2022, officers found that the unit was still being lived. Dacorum Borough Council concluded that the landlord would not comply with its order.

Councillor Simy Dhyani said: “This prosecution sends a message to all those landlords who keep ignoring the regulations and trying to get away with renting out poorly managed properties. These enforcement actions will carry on helping our private tenants and install positive behavioural change in landlords."

A prohibition order stops the use of part or all of a building, or restricts the type or number of people living there. In this case requests to stop renting out the unit were ignored.