A neglected flat in Ellesmere Port led to the borough council taking tough action on an absent landlord.
Following complaints from an existing tenant in Flint Court, the council’s regulatory services officers repeatedly contacted Karen Jean Foulkes, 48, of Morgan Walk in Nantwich to resolve a number of problems. Mrs Foulkes failed to take the action necessary to improve the safety or cleanliness of her property.
This led to her being handed a court bill totalling £2,292.50 by Chester Magistrates Court on Thursday, September 21. This was made up of a fine of £880 for failure to comply with an improvement notice under the Housing Act, £440 for failing to provide a statutory notice under Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions legislation, costs of £852.50 and a victim’s surcharge of £120.
The council says following numerous requests to Mrs Foulkes to take action to improve electrical wiring and problems with mould and damp, court action was the only remaining option. Following the successful conviction it has reaffirmed its commitment to taking tough action on absent landlords who neglect their properties.
Ellesmere Port St Paul’s ward councillor Angela Claydon (Lab), cabinet member for housing, said: “Cheshire West and Chester welcomes responsible landlords but we will deal robustly with anyone who does not take their responsibilities of property ownership seriously.
“This property had fallen into an unacceptable condition and state of repair which would have put tenants at risk of illness or severe injury.
"Absent landlords will not be allowed to leave their premises in an unsafe condition.
“We hope this case sends a clear message that we will take action whenever necessary to ensure tenants in privately rented properties live in a safe environment.”