Landlord Fined £32,000 After Creating Hazardous Conditions Within Illegal Flats

A rogue landlord who ignored fire risks and serious hazards at his flats and caravans has been fined £32,000.

Thomas Evans, 84, faced seven charges of failing to comply with a housing prohibition order, which were proven in his absence at Telford Magistrates’ Court, reports the Shropshire Star.

It heard that the landlord had converted a house at a ramshackle former farm called The Oakery in Ashford Carbonell (pictured) near Ludlow into six flats and created a traveller site next door – both without planning permission.

Shropshire Council housing officers followed up a complaint about a faulty boiler in 2017 and found the condition of the flats and caravans presented a potential risk to life, with category one and two hazards relating to heating, drainage and clean water supplies.

Notice ignored Evans was issued with an improvement notice to do the works, but officers found nothing had been done when they returned in February 2020 and served a new improvement notice.

He addressed the category one electrical hazards but a follow-up visit in 2021 confirmed many hazards still remained, including log burners in the traveller units that had been deemed unsafe four years previously.

In November 2022, conditions had further deteriorated and the hazards presented a serious risk to the tenants’ health and safety.

The council issued prohibition notices in respect of every flat and plot, but during a visit in March this year, officers discovered two of the flats and five of the traveller plots were still occupied.

Magistrates ordered Evans to pay a £3,500 fine for each of the seven breaches, the council’s costs of £5,507 and a £2,000 victim surcharge. He also faces ongoing fines of £20 per day, per property, if they remain occupied.

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