Real Estate

Latest Emergency Prohibition Order highlights huge cracks in rogue landlord regulation

A rogue landlord has had his appeal for an emergency prohibition order thrown out after failing to do vital property repairs for six years.

Robert Kaniu’s negligence led to the kitchen ceiling falling in and the tenant and her three young children being forced to move out of their terraced home into temporary accommodation.

Rather than fix the problems, Kaniu spent more money fighting West Northamptonshire Council, a First Tier Property Tribunal heard.

In another example of the protracted council enforcement and legal processes that let poor landlording go unpunished, officers first visited the property in Cartmel Place, Northampton (pictured), in March 2016 where they discovered damp in the bathroom and a partially collapsed kitchen ceiling. They served an improvement notice which Kaniu appealed but was dismissed.

In March 2021, his tenant complained about damp and council officers found 10 Category 2 hazards and served a Hazard Awareness Notice.

The kitchen ceiling collapsed in May 2021 and in July that year the council served an Improvement Notice, which Kaniu also appealed.


A further ceiling collapse – a Category 1 hazard – prompted the Emergency Prohibition Order. The landlord finally spent £300 to repair the ceiling a week before the hearing.

Read more about landlord responsibilities on hazards.

He tried to argue that the order was invalid which the tribunal rejected. According to Kaniu, the council could have enforced remedial emergency works and recovered the relatively low cost of repairs.

The council said it was restrained by its budget and would probably have had to chase payment from the landlord for doing the work, meaning more public money being spent in order to do repairs he should have completed himself.

The tribunal ordered Kaniu to get an inspection of the floor structure, including the joists, within the bathroom, by a suitably qualified structural engineer and then to do all the necessary works to remove a risk of harm to tenants.

Latest Emergency Prohibition Order highlights huge cracks in rogue landlord regulation is written by Nigel Lewis for

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