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Third Time in Court for Worthing Landlord

Released: Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A Worthing landlord will have to pay over £7,000 after pleading guilty in the magistrate's court to poorly managing two rented properties in Worthing and not carrying out works to improve them.

This was the third time in court for Daniel Woulfe of Rugby Road, Worthing who was prosecuted after officers from Worthing Borough Council's Private Sector Housing team inspected two of his properties in Tarring Road and Rugby Road, Worthing.

The Council found that the fire safety provisions within the houses were inadequate, hygiene facilities were substandard and the electrical installation had been poorly completed. Despite numerous and prolonged attempts by the team to secure improvements, including serving Improvement Notices, only a few largely inadequate repairs were made. The only option left available to the team was to instruct Worthing Borough Council's Legal services team to commence prosecution.

On 10th February 2017, Mr Woulfe pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates Court to 11 offences under the Management of House in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and the Housing Act 2004. He was fined a total of £4,250 with full costs of £2,811.95 and a victim surcharge of £50, bringing the total to £7,111.95.

Mr Woulfe will still have to comply with the Improvement Notices served by the Private Sector Housing team under the Housing Act 2004, requiring that the property is brought up to standard or face further legal sanctions.

Mr Woulfe had previously been fined for similar offences at two of his other properties in Belsize Road, Worthing.

Councillor Dr Heather Mercer, Executive Member for Customer Services, said:

“This is another example of the need for the invaluable service provided by the Council's Private Sector Housing Team, clamping down on landlords running substandard and hazardous properties.”

“We have a responsibility to do all in our power to help create healthy, safe places in which people can thrive - so we will continue to act where we see substandard properties putting people at risk.”

“Poor landlords must realise that court action is not the end of the matter and Worthing Borough Council will persist in ensuring that landlords comply with their legal duty to manage and run their properties safely.”

If you would like to know more about the work of the Private Sector Housing team, or would like to report poor rented accommodation, see our Private Sector tenants page

(PR17-027)

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