Hefty fine for private landlord prosecuted for the second time

04 August 2017

A private landlord is counting the cost following his failure to comply with another Improvement Notice served by Woking Borough Council under the Housing Act 2004.

Alan Kevin Fowler (landlord of 22 Bainton Mead, Woking) neglected to carry out vital work that would ensure the health and wellbeing of his tenants by failing to install a heating system and fit double glazing to the property.

Mr Fowler was found guilty and fined 10,000. He was also ordered to pay the Council’s costs of 2,385, as well as a victim surcharge of 170, totalling 12,555.

Speaking about the decision Cllr Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “We acknowledge the value of the private rented sector. We are also dedicated to helping ensure that landlords operate within the law and provide safe accommodation for the Borough’s residents.

“The Council’s successful prosecution of Mr Fowler demonstrates our ongoing commitment to safeguarding the rights of private tenants in the Borough. Through our Housing Standards Enforcement Policy, we now have the powers to issue financial penalties up to 30,000 per offence.

“Whilst this is not the first time we have had to take court action against Mr Fowler, I hope that this significant fine sends a clear message to private landlords that we will not hesitate to take appropriate and repeated action where necessary.”

In January 2017, Mr Fowler was prosecuted and fined 4,500 and ordered to pay costs and victim surcharge - a total of 8,432.11 - for failing to comply with Improvement Notices that would ensure the health and safety of his tenants.

Due to the severity of the notices, the decision was made to undertake the works to the property. The Council is currently in the process of recovering the costs from Mr Fowler which may result in the forced sale of the property.

Information and advice for private landlords operating in the Borough, can be found at www.woking.gov.uk/privatesectorhousing or they can speak to a member of the Private Sector Housing Standards Team by calling 01483 755855.