Doncaster house ‘unfit for habitation’

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A LANDLORD who ignored a warning to improve a ruwndown and potentially dangerous house in Doncaster has ended up before the town’s magistrates.

The owner of the house travelled all the way from his home in south Wales to admit a housing offence, which councillors say proves they will take action against offenders in the private rented sector.

Kelvin Blackner was said to have allowed a rented home in Hexthorpe to deteriorate into a condition where it was unfit for habitation.

Enforcement action was taken by the council against Blackner, of Bethlehem Road, Neath, West Glamorgan, and he was charged with failing to comply with an Improvement Notice on June 7 last year in respect of the terraced property in Shirley Road, Hexthorpe.

He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £834.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that private rented accommodation meets certain standards.

Doncaster Council officers had inspected the property and discovered a series of problems including potential structural issues, damaged and decaying wooden windows, and a missing handrail on the staircase which could have led to an accident.

An Improvement Notice was issued by Doncaster Council in June 2012 but Blackner failed to comply with it.

The case was taken to court where Blackner said that the tenant had caused damage to the property including removing a fireplace. He added that he had been unable to evict the tenant due to the high cost of legal fees.

Doncaster Council cabinet member for housing Barbara Hoyle said: “Doncaster Council is committed to ensuring that tenants in the private rented sector are able to live in homes which meet the required standards.

“This case demonstrates that we are vigilant about housing standards and we will act to enforce regulations wherever necessary.”