Cambridge City Council has successfully prosecuted a landlord for a second time, for multiple offences. The offences concerned a tenanted caravan that had been located within the boundary of his former property on Perne Road in Cambridge.
The landlord, Paul Sanderson, was prosecuted for the first time by the council in 2021 for failure to comply with an improvement notice in relation to his house in multiple occupation on Perne Road.
In March 2022, a banning order was imposed on Mr Sanderson by the council, banning him from renting out any property for a total of 30 months. He was also added to the national database of rogue landlords.
However, following a complaint and subsequent investigation by the council, it was found that Mr Sanderson was still involved with letting out a caravan at the Perne Road property, and had therefore failed to comply with the Banning Order.
In addition, Mr Sanderson was found guilty of further harassment offences under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and obstruction under the Housing Act 2004 for preventing council officers from carrying out their duties.
The trial was heard at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on 5 and 12 September. Mr Sanderson was found guilty of a total of six offences under the above legislation and was released on bail. Sentencing has been adjourned until 10am on 26 October 2023 at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.
Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness, said: “This prosecution should serve as a warning to the small minority of landlords and property agents who break the law and put their tenants at risk. Where those responsible for private rented accommodation in the city flagrantly disregard the law, we will take enforcement action under the range of powers available to us where necessary. Landlords and agents have responsibilities to provide safe, suitable and well managed accommodation to tenants within the private sector, which forms a big part of Cambridge’s housing market.
If you have any concerns about the safety, suitability and/or management of a rented property in the city, please contact the Residential Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01223 457900.
Update from 31 October 2023
Sentencing took place at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 26 October 2023. The following were imposed:
- Two £2,500 fines for harassment offences (total £5,000)
- A fine of £3,000 for a breach of banning order offence
- Council costs of £10,000 awarded
- A victim surcharge of £190.