Rugby Borough Council bans landlord

A rogue landlord from Rugby who rented out rooms above a bar in the town centre has been banned from being a landlord, after he put the lives of his tenants at risk.

Mr Dean Dunkley was additionally handed a £41,000 legal bill from magistrates after being found guilty of a number of offences. These included obstructing the investigation carried out by the Ruby Borough Council’s housing enforcement team.

Bars

Mr Dunkley was responsible for running AJ’s bar, a four-storey building located in Dunchurch Road.

He was fined almost £5,000 in April 2016, after pleading guilty to 25 offences under the Housing Act 200. This prosecution was brought about by the council after an inspection of the property uncovered numerous safety breaches.

Following this prosecution, Rugby Council’s housing enforcement team was given a warrant to carry out a further inspection of the property in August.

Upon inspection, a housing enforcement officer discovered a range of issues, including:

  • faulty fire doors
  • broken electrical sockets
  • holes in windows
  • fridges obstructing emergency exits
  • broken emergency lighting

Rents

At the time of the inspection, Dunkley was raking in around £820 per week in rents.

In all, he was found guilty of 19 charges and fined £39,000, including 8,000 for operating a HMO without a licence. What’s more, he was ordered to pay £2,264 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170.

Rugby Borough Council bans landlord

Rugby Borough Council bans landlord

Mr Dunkley was subsequently issued with a Criminal Behaviour Order, banning him from being involved in letting or managing a residential property for rent in the borough until May 2019.

Standards

After the hearing, Sean Lawson, Ruby Borough Council’s head of environment and public realm, observed: ‘We’re happy to work with landlords to explain the legislation surrounding HMOs and offer advice on work which needs to be carried out in order for a property to meet safety standards.’[1]

‘But our priority has to be the safety of tenants and, when a landlord shows complete contempt for the law, we have no hesitation in taking the case to court.’ (1)

‘The severity of the fines imposed by magistrates in this case, together with the issuing of a Criminal Behaviour Order, shows no landlord can afford to cut corners when it comes to ensuring the safety of tenants.’ (1)

[1] Mike Green, Rugby Borough Council: Rugby man handed landlord ban after putting lives of tenants at risk, Press Release, 12.05.17

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