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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Rogue landlord argues he is a humanitarian

A Southend landlord who was given one month to pay a fine of £40,000 in May has returned to court to appeal his fine.

Found guilty of breaching 15 regulations governing houses in multiple occupation, Robert Crow, 67, argued that Southend Council officers were trying to bankrupt him as he had 'just 30p' in his pocket, following the failure of the council to pay housing benefit to his tenants.

The court listened to Mr Crow declaring he was a "humanitarian landlord” and not the rogue that had been painted in the council's prosecution. The landlord argued that even though the council inspectors found his HMO to be squalid, with some tenants living beneath a tarpaulin covering the back yard, his acts helped house tenants that otherwise would have been homeless - going on to claim some paid no rent to live at the property.

Speaking to the Southend Echo, Crow claims

“I have been tainted as this terrible, nasty rogue landlord, but I’m just trying to keep people alive. They said I was forcing people to live in squalor, but I’m taking them off the street.”

The court granted a new magistrates’ hearing for Monday, August 1st, until which time Mr Crow will be required to pay back £50 a week on his £40k fine.

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