Eastleigh Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a local landlord for failing to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of his tenants resulting in the Council's largest ever fine against a landlord of £20,000.
Mr Christopher Grayston from Southampton, who owned the property, a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Newtown Road, Eastleigh pleaded guilty at West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court in February this year to offences brought by the Council’s prosecuting lawyer David Foster in relation to his negligent management of the property. The case was adjourned for sentencing until October. The offences were brought under the Housing Act 2004 for multiple breaches of the Management of HMO Regulations 2006 in respect of his Newtown Road property, as his tenants had been seriously compromised and exposed to a real risk of harm, especially in terms of fire safety.
The judge found that Mr Grayston was guilty of failing to provide information to his tenants together with failing to take safety measures and to maintain common parts, fixtures, fittings and appliances and sentenced him to pay £20,000 plus he was also ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £1956 and a victim surcharge of £170 – at total in excess of £22,000.
Cabinet Lead for Social Policy Cllr Tina Campbell said, “The Council takes the issue of housing conditions very seriously. This successful prosecution sends a strong and robust message to other HMO managers and landlords in the borough that the Council will not tolerate poor housing for tenants many of whom are often vulnerable and disadvantaged. It also demonstrates that the Council will act to protect the health, safety and welfare of tenants and is committed to improving housing standards within the borough.”