Landlord loses appeal against fines for housing convictions
His bill hits £23,395
Following on from the successful prosecution in January of Paul Allen for 26 offences under housing management regulations at three converted houses he rents out in Bengeo and Walkern, pastor Paul Allen appealed against sentence because he felt the fines were too high.
The judge at St Albans Crown Court dismissed the appeal and ordered Mr Allen to pay a further £1,500 towards the council's costs, bringing his total bill up to £23,395.
The offences related to a range of matters including fire safety, dangerous staircases and failure to provide a report of the electrical installations.
The appeal was heard at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday May 16. The court heard that since the prosecution, Herts Fire and Rescue Service had been called out to an electrical fire at one of the properties in Totts Lane, Walkern. However, the electrical inspection reports the council had been asking for since May 2012 were still not produced until late March 2013.
The judge, taking this into account, together with information Mr Allen provided about his means, decided to dismiss the appeal and confirm the original sentence imposed by Hertford Magistrates.
Linda Haysey, Executive member for health, housing and community support, said: "Sadly the fire is further proof that the council and its partners were absolutely right in bringing this prosecution and now the crown court has further vindicated the council's decision to prosecute.
"We aim to protect vulnerable tenants and that's exactly what we've done."
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