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Landlord prosecuted for failing to ensure property was safe

Landlord prosecuted for failing to ensure property was safe
14 February 2024

A private landlord has been prosecuted for failing to carry out works to make his rented property safe and secure for tenants.

David Almond, of Water Meadow, Thorpe Green Lane, York, was ordered to pay £878 in fines and court costs after being found guilty of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice served under The Housing Act 2004, in October 2022 in relation to a house he rented out to tenants in Park Lane, Darlington.

Almond had pleaded not guilty when he appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (13 February) but was found guilty following a trial.

The court heard that private sector housing officers from Darlington Borough Council had carried out an inspection of the property and the Improvement Notice was served requiring him to carry out various works to make it safe and secure.

It included carrying out basic duties as a landlord such as providing gas and electricity safety certificates, ensuring the property had adequate heating and was free from damp and mould. Other issues were also identified such as asbestos ceiling tiles and a poorly constructed staircase.

The court heard Almond had delayed carrying out any work after the issues had been raised by officers and only started work once a prosecution case was brought.

The four tenants were left living in a property with water leaking from the roof for more than a year, and although they had now found a new home, work was still required to be finished at the Park Lane property before any new tenancy could begin.

Almond was fined £270 and ordered to pay £500 costs and a £108 victim surcharge.

Councillor Amanda Riley, the council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “The owner of this property failed to maintain and keep it in a good state of repair, which could have resulted in the tenants sustaining serious injuries and ill health.

“This case sends a clear message that we will take action against any landlord who does not 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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