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Landlord fined £2,478 for breach of improvement notice

News release from 04/10/2019

A ROGUE landlord has been fined £2,478 following an investigation by Cambridge City Council.

Council officers received a complaint from tenants at 5, Holbrook Road in Cambridge about the poor conditions they were enduring.

Officers investigated and found evidence of dangerous living conditions, overcrowding and tenant harassment.

The property, which was occupied as a four person house of multiple occupation, had no electricity, no heating or hot water, no cooking facilities, no working shower, no working kitchen sink and inadequate fire safety precautions.

A large amount of rubbish was found accumulating in the front and rear gardens that should have been disposed of by the landlord.

The council sent landlord, Noelle Salameh of Desmond Avenue in Cambridge, a schedule of work to resolve the problems but subsequent inspections showed no improvement.

The council then served a formal Improvement Notice on Ms Salameh to compel her to comply with the law but, once again, inspections showed little meaningful improvement. Council officers were left with no other option but to prosecute.

Ms Salameh was found guilty by magistrates of the charges brought against her at Cambridge Magistrates Court on 19 September.

Magistrates heard evidence that Ms Salameh had ignored requests from tenants to be provided with heating, hot water and functioning fire alarms. Evidence was also heard that Ms Salameh had previously allowed more tenants to live in the property than could be safely accommodated.

Ms Salameh pleaded guilty to the offences in person and was fined a total of £2,478 with £1,370 costs and £108 victim surcharge.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Housing, said: “Nobody renting a home should be subjected to these shocking conditions.

“We are determined to take a tough line with rogue landlords who exploit their tenants for personal gain.

“As this case shows, we will not hesitate to take legal action if landlords refuse to abide by their legal obligations to their tenants.

“We will continue to do all we can to protect residents from poor housing conditions and I hope that this case serves as another warning to the small minority of landlords who continue to flout the law.”

Tenants can complain to the council about their housing conditions by emailing or by phoning 01223 458050.