Rogue Flintshire Landlord fined after pensioner forced to pay £1400 utility bill in mouldy flat

A Flintshire landlord has been found guilty of nine offences under housing legislation after a successful prosecution by Flintshire’s Environmental Health team.

Steven John Gleave from Prestatyn, who is an owner of four rental properties in Flintshire, was found guilty of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice and eight other housing offences, including: failing to register his rental properties with Rent Smart Wales and failing to obtain a licence to operate as a private landlord in Wales  both legal requirements since November 2014.

The property subject to the Improvement Notice, issued under the Housing Act 2004, was a ground floor flat in a two storey terrace in Shotton occupied by an elderly tenant.

The property had not been maintained by Gleave over a number of years. Subsequently, the occupier had to suffer with penetrating dampness, black mould growth, a lack of adequate heating, poor kitchen and bathing facilities, poor fire safety provisions and slates falling off the roof.

Gleave also refused to pay off the electricity bill for another flat in the same building and refused to get the electricity meter for both flats separated. This meant the elderly occupier had no choice but to pay off the arrears (over £1, 400) through the shared meter. Gleave had also refused to register all four of his rental properties in Flintshire with Rent Smart Wales and failed to carry out mandatory training in order to become licensed to operate as a landlord in Wales.

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection, Councillor Christopher Bithell, said:

“This successful prosecution reflects Flintshire County Council’s commitment to ensuring homes in the private rented sector meet all the legal standards required for private housing in Wales. We believe everyone has the right to live in a home which is in good repair, has ready access to all necessary amenities and is free from physical hazards. Whilst we aim to reduce the health effects of poor housing conditions through a combination of advice and financial assistance, occasionally we deal with matters that are so serious a prosecution is necessary. This successful prosecution sends out a clear message to other private landlords, that non-compliance with current housing standards and non –compliance with the Rent Smart Wales laws – is completely unacceptable.” 

Gleave, who did not attend the court hearing, was fined £11,081 and ordered to pay the total within 28 days or face further court appearances.

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