A landlord who was caught renting out a damp garage in north London, which had no gas, electrify or running water, as a studio flat, has been ordered to pay costs of more than £3,000.
Despite the fact that the single-storey garage was unfit for habitation, the landlord rejected a Prohibition Order from Islington Council to prevent it being rented out, and opted to appeal the notice and take the council to a tribunal.
The council attempted to reach a settlement with the landlord by delaying the operation of Prohibition Notice for three months and reducing the fee to £200, in order to save time and money. But the landlord refused to so much as even pay for the hearing fee and so the tribunal withdrew their appeal.
The judge concluded that there was “no reasonable explanation” why the council’s offer of a three-month respite for the Prohibition Notice should not have been accepted.
He further stated that the landlord had “behaved unreasonably in bringing an appeal which they never intended to pursue properly and never did pursue properly. They deliberately failed to comply with the tribunal’s directions and rebuffed [the council’s] reasonable efforts to dispose of the proceedings”.
As a result of the decision the council was awarded costs of £3,111.50.
Speaking after the case, Jan Hart, Islington Council’s service director for public protection, said: “This garage had no basic facilities and should not have been let out as a place to live.
“We respect the landlord’s right to appeal our Prohibition Notice, but as the judge found, the tribunal process was not pursued properly and this wasted time and public money.”