When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
COMMENT: Clamp on dodgy landlords to be applauded
11:00am Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
WHILE the immortal character of Rigsby in TV’s classic sitcom Rising Damp was portrayed as a dodgy but loveable landlord, in real life the reality is far from amusing.
In fact, bad landlords can cause their tenants – who are often vulnerable both financially and by dint of their age – untold misery.
Typically, the young just starting out in life, and the elderly who want nothing more than to live out their retirement in dignity, are easy targets. Which is why Oxford City Council deserves praise for continuing its crusade to wipe out the city’s worst offenders.
In the most recent case, the landlord of a property in Barns Road, Cowley, admitted seven offences, including failing to protect occupants from injury due to structural conditions.
In addition, magistrates also heard there was no fire protection in the semi-detached house which, when environmental health officers visited last May, was home to five occupants.
After the landlord was fined £1,565, Paul Fitzgerald, HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) enforcement manager for the city council, said: “It sends a clear message out that HMO properties need to be licensed and brought up to a minimum standard.”
Hopefully with the continued vigilance of local councils, the spectre of Fagin-like landlords can finally be laid to rest.