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Flintshire prosecution of landlord who allowed poor living conditions for family

Published: 03/07/2018

A Flintshire landlord has been found guilty of seven offences under housing legislation designed to protect tenants in the private rented sector, after a successful prosecution by Flintshire County Council’s Environmental Health team. Stephen John Gleave from Prestatyn, who has previous housing offence convictions, was found guilty of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice and six 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 two storey terrace in Shotton occupied by a mother and her two children. The property had been poorly converted and had not been maintained by Gleave over a number of years. Subsequently, the family had to suffer with penetrating dampness, a lack of hot water, a lack of adequate heating, poor kitchen and bathing facilities, poor fire safety provisions and serious falls hazards. Gleave had also continued to refuse to register all three of his rental properties in Flintshire with Rent Smart Wales and failed to apply for and 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 that a prosecution is necessary. This 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 £10,600 as well as £1,688 costs and ordered to pay the total within 28 days or face further court appearances.