Are the courts treating all equally
Are the courts punishing both rogue landlords and rogue tenants equally? I recently read an article where Folkestone Magistrates Court found landlord, Judith Wilson, guilty of failing to comply with an enforcement notice ordering her to supply hot water to a disabled tenant. Did Ashford Borough Council make an example out of this high profile landlord in a hope of shocking other rogue landlords into stay within the boundaries of the law? Incase you were not aware Judith is the wife of controversial landlord Fergus Wilson.
Although the council successfully prosecuted Judith, and could potentially receive a huge fine, as the limit of the fine is at the discretion of the court. As Judith owns more than 300 properties many are waiting to see what fine is levied on 11th December. Will this bring other landlords into line? Personally not sure, the very few that I have come across believe they will never be caught.
Judith was successfully procecuted for failing to comply with an enforcement order. Are you aware of any other landlords who have fallen foul to an enforcement order?
I am all for people abiding with the law, however if a tenant trashes a house, avoids rent and ultimately has to be evicted from the property, what consequences impacts on them? The same as this landlord?
Interestingly that the work that was listed on the enforcement order was subsequently carried out by Ashford Borough Council, will the legal process reimburse them for the work?
The Judge cited that the landlord has been consistently difficult and stubbornly refused to make any genuine commitment to the Council to get the work carried out. From the little I have read it does seem like the landlord could have avoided the legal proceedings but for reasons only they know chose a different path.
What do you consider to be a fair amount for the fine? If the properties are in a company name and the landlord can show little or no assets and low income, the fine would have to be low?