Landlord fined after family with children left without water and heating

Anthony Wardrop, 79, was fined £1,000 after failing to carry out work at the property in Westmoreland Street. Credit: PA/Google Maps

A private landlord has been fined after a Hartlepool family with children were left without water and heating.

Anthony Wardrop, 79, of The Parade, Hartlepool, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £580 in costs after failing to carry out work at the property in Westmoreland Street.

The tenants, which included a baby and two older children, were left without water or adequate heating over the Christmas and New Year bank holiday periods in 2021.

Wardrop denied a charge of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice served in January 2022, but was found guilty when he appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 28 February.

The Improvement Notice, issued under the Housing Act 2004 by private sector housing officers from Darlington Borough Council, also ordered the landlord to carry out basic duties in the property.

These included providing gas and electricity safety certificates, ensuring the property had adequate heating and was free from damp and mould.

Magistrates heard that the owner had delayed carrying out works inside the property for several months and only started the work after investigation for the prosecution began, despite continued efforts by the council to assist him.

Hartlepool Councillor Mike Renton said: “The owner of this property failed to carry out the basic responsibilities required of him as a landlord, leaving a young family without water or adequate heating which is simply not acceptable.

"This prosecution sends out a very clear message that we will take strong action against any landlord who doesn’t ensure the safety of their tenants.”

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