Stotfold landlord fined for renting a property with serious hazards

Private landlord Melvyn Bruce has been ordered to pay £2,446 in fines, costs and victim surcharge af

Private landlord Melvyn Bruce has been ordered to pay £2,446 in fines, costs and victim surcharge after renting out a flat with serious hazards. - Credit: Archant

A private landlord from Stotfold has been found guilty of renting out a flat with serious hazards and has been ordered to pay almost £2,500 by magistrates.

Melvyn Bruce, of Hitchin Road in the town, was convicted in his absence at Luton Magistrates’ Court last week, following an investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council which discovered that the flat – also in Hitchin Road – had insufficient heating, electrical hazards and risks associated with the stairs.

Bruce ­had previously been found guilty at Bedford Magistrates’ Court in August 2016 for similar offences, following complaints from tenants about their living standards.

Officers from the council’s housing solutions team served an improvement notice on the landlord in April 2017 after discovering serious hazards at the property.

When they reinspected the flat in September 2017, they discovered that the landlord had failed to comply with the improvement notice within the time specified.

After being found guilty to an offence under the Housing Act 2004, Bruce was ordered to pay a total of £2,446 in fines, costs and a victim surcharge.

Councillor Carole Hegley said: “Cases like these can be notoriously difficult to investigate and bring to court, so I am delighted at this excellent result and that the landlord has been brought to justice.

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“Residents who rent privately should be able to do so with confidence that the conditions do not present a hazard to their health and safety.

“That is why we will continue to pursue landlords and managing agents who fail to rectify hazards, as well as those who fail to produce the correct legal documentation.”

If you are worried about poor conditions within privately rented accommodation, email or call 0300 300 8302.