No emergency exit for young family
12 July 2016
A landlord in Folkestone, Kent, has been slapped with a £5,000 fine after being found to have provided accommodation to a young family without means of escape in an emergency.
The Folkestone Herald reports that Mr Jack Kensell was found guilty of putting his tenants at risk of harm in connection with a flat he owns.
The one bedroom ground floor flat includes a large storage area in the basement, which Mr Kensell was banned from using as living accommodation because of the lack of an emergency escape.
The prohibition was served by Shepway District Council following a complaint from a previous tenant.
However, he failed to inform subsequent occupants about the restrictions and a young family moved into the flat.
They contacted the local council about damp at the property and the authority advised the tenants of the risks of living in the basement.
Mr Kensell received a £5,000 fine and was ordered to pay £4,111.04 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.
Cllr Alan Ewart-James, cabinet member for housing, said: "Landlords have a responsibility to keep their tenants safe. Our Private Sector Housing Team can help tenants and landlords achieve this.
"Many issues can be resolved outside of the courts but we will prosecute if landlords persist in putting their tenants in danger."