Thurrock council has recovered housing benefit from a landlord who failed to comply with an improvement notice.
Landlord, Mr Tobe Ayandare, had originally been fined £9,000 for failing to comply with an improvement notice served by Thurrock.
However, Thorrock council has now used the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to re-claim more than £1,000 in rent payments.
Landlord Mr Tobe Ayandare was originally fined for failing to comply with an improvement notice under the Housing Act 2004 back in March. He has also been forced to repay rent that had been paid to him.
The case was taken up by Thurrock Council when a complaint was lodged about the condition of a home in South Ockendon. Officers found ten different health and safety hazards, including rotten and insecure window frames and doors, an untested and leaking boiler and a rodent infestation.
Having successfully prosecuted in March, Thurrock Council sought to recover the housing benefit payments paid to Ayandare during the ten week period he had failed to comply with the improvement notice.
A rent repayment order application was made to the Eastern Residential Property First Tier Tribunal under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, with £1,071.12 now successfully awarded.
Cllr Barry Johnson, portfolio holder for Housing, said: “We believe everyone should have a good quality place to live and will not tolerate landlords exploiting their tenants by taking rent, or taxpayers’ money in the form of housing benefit, while forcing them to live in unacceptable conditions.
“This is a landmark case for the council. I am delighted that not only have we been able to prosecute and ensure the necessary improvement works are carried out at the landlord’s expense, but also to recover rent for the very first time.”