The owner of an Ilkeston property must pay out more than £3,000 after being found guilty of failing to comply with two Improvement Notices.

Following a successful prosecution by Erewash Borough Council, Belper based A & S Milward Property Limited, was charged with two offences under the Housing Act 2004.

The case was heard at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on 19 December. The court heard that two Category 1 hazards and a Category 2 hazard were identified by the council officers at the property in King Street, Ilkeston.

The first Category 1 hazard concerned the absence of lighting on the stairs leading to flats and a defective handrail. Both of these defects increased the risk to tenants of falling on the stairs.
The Category 2 hazard was caused by the absence of hard-wired smoke detection for the flats and common areas of the property, and the electrical supply to the flats not having adequate fire protection constituting a fire hazard.

During a further inspection another Category 1 hazard was identified due to the presence of damp and mould in the living room, bedroom and corridor of the occupied second floor flat caused by inadequate heating and insulation. Council officers also found windows with rotting timbers and broken latches.

The company failed to comply with two Improvement Notices served by the council regarding these hazards and was charged on two offences.

Mr Stephen Milward, on behalf of his company, pleaded not guilty. Representing himself he told the court that he could not comply with the notices due to suspecting that the electrics had been tampered with. In mitigation he said he had no money and he is in arrears with the mortgage.

Magistrates found him guilty and ordered him to pay a fine of £1,500 (£500 for the first offence and £1,000 for the second offence), a victim surcharge of £100 and the council’s costs of £1,662.62. A total of £3,262.62.

Councillor Val Clare, Lead Member for Community Engagement at Erewash Borough Council, says:

“We are pleased with the outcome of this prosecution and hope that it acts as a reminder to landlords that their properties need to comply with health and safety standards. Residents living in rented properties have the right to live in a warm and hazard free home and should seek advice if they feel that the home is not up to standard.”