29 September, 2023

Council brings successful prosecutions against landlords and unlicensed scrap metal collectors

Thanet District Council achieved successful prosecutions against six defendants at Margate, Sevenoaks and Hastings Magistrates Courts in September 2023. 

The council’s Private Sector Housing team brought prosecutions against four private landlords over three days in court, between Monday 11 and Thursday 14 September. These resulted in convictions for seven offences:

  • Harold Mews Management Ltd of Lewis Crescent, Margate, was found guilty of failing to comply with the rules governing a house in multiple occupation (HMO). This related to electrical safety and disrepair at a property in Harold Road, Margate. The defendant received a fine of £5,000 and was ordered to pay £1,440 costs and a victim surcharge of £2,000.
  • Olympia Homes Ltd, registered in Guernsey, was found guilty of failing to comply with an Abatement Notice served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Their tenants, living with their children in Athelstan Road in Margate, were left without hot water and heating for several months during the winter. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £7,560 costs and a victim surcharge of £190.
  • Worldwide Property Development Ltd of Ilford was found guilty of failing to comply with two Improvement Notices under the Housing Act 2004. The notices related to a large property of flats in Hardres Street, Ramsgate, where tenants were living in a building affected by damp and mould, which also had fire and electrical hazards. The company was fined £40,000 for failing to comply with the notices and ordered to pay £3,840 costs. The company was also fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,920 costs for failing to comply with a drainage notice.
  • Mohammed Gaffar, a director of Worldwide Property Development Ltd, was also held responsible for the failure to comply with two Improvement Notices and was fined £20,000 and costs of £2,000.

Cllr Helen Whitehead, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “A home is not a home without safety. People renting in the private sector need to know that we are here to ensure that their safety, in all forms, is our priority. 

“People who choose to operate as landlords know that the role is a duty; I have met many private landlords who take that duty and responsibility incredibly seriously, and provide safe homes in recognition of their duty towards their tenants. Our Private Sector Housing team will ensure that those who do not live up to their responsibilities will face necessary action.”

Secondly, two of the district’s scrap metal collectors have been successfully prosecuted for operating without a licence. The hearings took place on Tuesday 12 September at Margate Magistrates Court. 

  • The first defendant entered a guilty plea and was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling over £1,600.
  • The second defendant also pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling over £930. 

A third defendant is awaiting a trial date.

Cllr Heather Keen, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We strive to improve the district for all of our residents, and won’t hesitate to prosecute people who are found to be acting illegally, and against the best interests of our residents.

“We hope that these outcomes send out the serious message to unlicensed scrap metal collectors in the district, that this activity will not be tolerated, and that we will not hesitate to prosecute.”

Thanet-based scrap metal collectors can find full details and guidance on applying for licence on the council’s website. Residents can find details of all licensed collectors on the council’s website

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