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Chatham landlords Rattan Singh and Balbir Kaur fined by Medway Council

By Lizzie Massey

Rogue landlords have been slapped with £20,000 in fines after risking tenants’ health.

Two men left their properties riddled with damp and without heating or working fire alarms.

Property owners Rattan Singh and Balbir Kaur of Henry Street, Chatham, kept people in poor and damp conditions for three years in a home in Henry Street and in another property in nearby Dale Street.

One of the landlords' houses in Chatham

Medway Council’s housing team for the private sector first raised informal concerns with the owners in December 2011, and requested improvements be made swiftly.

Despite follow-up visits from the council, Singh and Kaur failed to make the necessary improvements and so were issued with a formal legal notice in December 2013.

They made no attempt to carry out the work and appeared at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court this month where they admitted 19 offences, including failing to comply with notices under the Housing Act 2004.

As well as the fine the pair must also pay £600 in court costs and a £150 victim surcharge.

This is the first case for the authority’s rogue landlord unit, which is currently investigating a number of others.

The council was able to prosecute after a successful bid for government funding gave it the resources to tackle rogue landlords in Medway.

Tenants were left in houses riddled with damp. Stock picture

Robin Cooper, head of regeneration, community and culture said: “Landlords must remember that the properties they are renting out must be safe and free of risks to the health of their tenants.

“The council will not accept tenants being placed in danger through the deliberate actions of their landlords or agents.

“We will always try to work with co-operative landlords and support them in running their businesses. This case shows that those who don’t comply will be followed up and if necessary, prosecuted.”

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