Criminal law solicitor Grace France lives in Victoria, Central London but lets out property in St Helens.
Over a four-year period council officers had attempted to work with the defendant to remedy a series of disrepair issues including lack of a fire alarm system, damp and excessive cold.
Yet even after serving two Minded To notices – aimed at gaining a reasonable working relationship with the landlord – the necessary repair work failed to take place and conditions grew worse.
The Formal Improvement Notice was served in January 2013 but by the time it expired – in May 2013 – the work had still not been completed.
Even though several extensions were agreed, a re-inspection in December 2013 revealed that little work had taken place and that conditions had deteriorated further.
Throughout the process – until November 2013 – tenants had continued to occupy the bedsits.