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Cambridge landlord fined £9,550 for failure to comply with an improvement notice

News release from 27/02/2019

CAMBRIDGE City Council has successfully prosecuted the landlord of a property for failing to fix a dangerous hole in the ceiling that was letting water seep in through a light fitting.

Officers investigated a complaint about a rented property in Hemingford Road which had a hole in the bathroom ceiling that allowed large amounts of water in through the light fitting when it rained.

The landlord had been contacted by the tenants and letting agent but persistently ignored every attempt at communication and informal resolution.

An Improvement Notice was then served by the council in relation to the hazards created by the hole in the roof.

The landlord ignored the notice and so repair works were done in default by the council. The costs of this work plus officers’ time totalled £3050, which was charged to the landlord.

Due to the negligence of the landlord in allowing the hazards for a long period of time, the council also pursued a prosecution against him at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court. 

The landlord did not attend court but was found guilty in his absence. He was fined £7,955 and also ordered to pay the council’s costs of £1,430 and a victim surcharge of £170, meaning the fines totalled £9,550.

In addition the council assisted the tenants in pursuing a rent repayment order against the landlord. In his absence from a hearing the tenants were awarded £6000 of rent to be repaid to them.

In total the landlord now has to pay £18,500 whereas if he had simply repaired the roof it would have cost him around £2,000 instead.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “We hope that this successful prosecution will set an example to the small minority of landlords providing unsafe, poor quality accommodation in Cambridge. 

“Adequate housing conditions are so important to protect the health and safety of occupiers of rented accommodation and we will continue to take necessary enforcement action where landlords fail to comply with the law.”

If you wish to discuss or report a housing complaint, please contact Cambridge City Council’s Residential Team 01223 458050 or email