Landlord fined after ignoring improvement notices for his Cornwall property

Justin Paull – an Isle of Man resident – will have to pay thousands of pounds in fines and costs after failing to ensure his property in Falmouth complied with improvement notices issued by the local council.

Three improvement notices were sent to Mr Paull in the first two months of this year.

However, while a 4ft by 4ft garden trench, near the flat’s front door, had been filled when council inspectors revisited, other problems that were originally highlighted were still present.

The flat’s elderly tenant had no bedroom heater and no control over the central heating system for the rest of the property, because the controls were accessed via another flat.

It was also discovered that the connection between the smoke and fire alarms did not work, putting the tenant at a much greater risk in the event of a fire.

The landlord informed the court that he had not been in the UK when the council issued its improvement notices, so he had delegated the task of looking after the flat to a manager.

However, Mr Paull was informed that, as the person who received the rent payments for the property at the centre of the case, he had the overall responsibility of ensuring the work was completed.

Mr Paull was fined £3,200 and ordered to pay costs of £1,975.52, after pleading guilty to all charges.

It was highlighted in court that another inspection has taken place at the same property, and all of the requirements have now been fulfilled by the landlord.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.