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Landlord prosecuted after family left without water and heating

Landlord prosecuted after family left without water and heating
03 March 2023

A private landlord has been prosecuted after a family, including a baby and two older children, were left without water or adequate heating in their rented property.

Anthony Wardrop, 79, of The Parade, Hartlepool, on behalf of Sedgedene Estates Limited, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £580 in costs and charges for failing to carry out work to make the property in Westmoreland Street safe.

Wardrop denied a charge of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice served in January 2022 but was found guilty when he appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (28 February).

The court heard the owner had failed to ensure a constant water supply was provided to the rented property. This had left the family, including a baby and two older children, without water or adequate heating over the Christmas and New Year bank holiday periods in 2021.

The Improvement Notice, issued under the Housing Act 2004 by the council's private sector housing officers, also ordered the landlord to carry out basic duties in the property such as providing gas and electricity safety certificates, ensuring the property had adequate heating and was free from damp and mould.

Magistrates heard that the owner had delayed carrying out works inside the property for several months and only started the work after investigations for the prosecution began, despite continued efforts by the council to assist him.

Councillor Mike Renton, cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “The owner of this property failed to carry out the basic responsibilities required of him as a landlord, leaving a young family without water or adequate heating which is simply not acceptable.

"This prosecution sends out a very clear message that we will take strong action against any landlord who doesn’t ensure the safety of their tenants.”

The private sector housing officers are part of the council’s Community Safety Team. You can find out more about their work on our website at

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