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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fulham landlord misses prison

A Fulham landlord has been given a suspended prison sentence by the City of London Magistrates’ Court after been found guilty of illegally evicted her tenants.

Landlord, Kathryn Dow, 56, of Novello Street, Fulham evicted two tenants who were renting the top floor of her home after they complained about a foul smell and a fire hazard in their flat.

When Ms Dow refused to investigate the cause of the smell or move furniture that the tenants believed to be blocking fire exits routes they decided to contact the council. Following a visit by Officers from Hammersmith & Fulham Council,  Ms Dow was  sent a letter giving her seven days to take action, which she ignored, as well as cancelling two further meetings with the council officers.

Then, a month after the initial complaint, the tenants returned to their rental flat to find all their belongings removed, new locks and Ms Dow claiming a carbon monoxide leak would mean they would have to move out.

The tenants reported the landlords actions to the council and following further investigation it was found that the  carbon monoxide leak was a fabricated story and that new tenants had been moved into the flat by Ms Dow just two days later.

A case of wrongful eviction lead by housing officers from Hammersmith and Fulham Council lead to Ms Dow been given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and an order to pay £10,794 in costs and compensation.

In a separate civil claim against Ms Dow, West London County Court granted one of the tenant a further £13,970 in damages.

Cllr Lisa Homan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing commented 

“Rogue landlords cannot mistreat residents in this manner and this prosecution shows the council’s determination to ensure that private tenants in the borough are treated fairly,” 


Mandy Thomson said...

It's good to see justice done - I am sure I speak for all decent landlords when I say I'm fed up reading about criminals masquerading as landlords and giving real landlords a bad name.

This case goes to show that licensing is NOT going to solve the rogue landlord problem - how could it when councils only know about law abiding landlords? This woman was found out through existing legislation, and by her tenants knowing their rights.

Anonymous said...

But surely there is nothing to stop her continuing to let out her property. If there were licensing she could be prevented from doing anything roguish again.