Property firm fined after tenant lived in ‘appalling conditions’ for 12 months

Keystone Property Company Ltd was prosecuted by Rother District Council after failing to comply with an order requiring it to fix the roof of a property in Fairmount Road, Bexhill. SUS-161213-131257001
Keystone Property Company Ltd was prosecuted by Rother District Council after failing to comply with an order requiring it to fix the roof of a property in Fairmount Road, Bexhill. SUS-161213-131257001
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A property firm has been fined after its failure to fix a broken roof for 12 months put its tenant’s health at risk.

A woman living in a two-bedroom flat in Fairmount Road was forced to sleep in her living room after a leaking roof left both bedrooms riddled with damp and mould and caused part of a ceiling to collapse.

Keystone Property Company Ltd was prosecuted by Rother District Council after failing to comply with an order requiring it to fix the roof of a property in Fairmount Road, Bexhill. SUS-161213-131309001

Keystone Property Company Ltd was prosecuted by Rother District Council after failing to comply with an order requiring it to fix the roof of a property in Fairmount Road, Bexhill. SUS-161213-131309001

The building’s owner, Winchester-based Keystone Property Company Ltd, was prosecuted by Rother District Council after failing to comply with an order requiring it to fix the roof.

In a hearing at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Friday (December 9) the company was fined £2,700 – reduced from £4,000 due to its early guilty plea – and ordered to pay the council’s court costs of £1,279.94.

Cllr Joy Hughes, RDC cabinet member for housing, said: “For 12 months, the tenant of this property was forced to live in appalling conditions which put her health at risk.

“The bedrooms were affected by severe damp and mould meaning she had to move her bed into the living room as it was the only habitable space left.

“We always try and work with landlords but the company in this case failed to rectify the leaking roof despite being given ample opportunity to do so.

“Landlords have a duty of care to protect the health and safety of their tenants and this prosecution should send out a clear message that we won’t tolerate landlords who fail to meet their responsibilities.”

The company was issued with an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 by the council’s private sector housing team in April, following repeated requests to carry out the work from November last year.

Keystone was given 28 days to carry out the repairs, later extended at their request by a further five weeks, but still failed to begin work before the notice expired.

The firm, of Moorside Road, Winchester, has now fixed the roof.

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