Thanet council prosecutes four private landlords over sub-standard homes

Council deputy leader Helen Whitehead says: "Those who do not live up to their responsibilities will face necessary action.”

Thanet council has prosecuted four private landlords who left tenants to live in sub standard accommodation.

The council’s Private Sector Housing team brought prosecutions against the private landlords over three days in court, between Monday 11 and Thursday 14 September.

These resulted in convictions for seven offences:

Harold Mews Management Ltd of Lewis Crescent, Margate, was found guilty of failing to comply with the rules governing a house in multiple occupation (HMO). This related to electrical safety and disrepair at a property in Harold Road, Margate. The defendant received a fine of £5,000 and was ordered to pay £1,440 costs and a victim surcharge of £2,000.

Olympia Homes Ltd, registered in Guernsey, was found guilty of failing to comply with an Abatement Notice served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Their tenants, living with their children in Athelstan Road in Margate, were left without hot water and heating for several months during the winter. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £7,560 costs and a victim surcharge of £190.

Worldwide Property Development Ltd of Ilford was found guilty of failing to comply with two Improvement Notices under the Housing Act 2004. The notices related to a large property of flats in Hardres Street, Ramsgate, where tenants were living in a building affected by damp and mould, which also had fire and electrical hazards. The company was fined £40,000 for failing to comply with the notices and ordered to pay £3,840 costs. The company was also fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,920 costs for failing to comply with a drainage notice.

Mohammed Gaffar, a director of Worldwide Property Development Ltd, was also held responsible for the failure to comply with two Improvement Notices and was fined £20,000 and costs of £2,000.

Cllr Helen Whitehead, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “A home is not a home without safety. People renting in the private sector need to know that we are here to ensure that their safety, in all forms, is our priority.

“People who choose to operate as landlords know that the role is a duty; I have met many private landlords who take that duty and responsibility incredibly seriously, and provide safe homes in recognition of their duty towards their tenants.

“Our Private Sector Housing team will ensure that those who do not live up to their responsibilities will face necessary action.”


  1. Too little too late! Helen needs to stop praising the officers at TDC and actually get them to take more action. Lap dog springs to mind…

  2. Good to expose these rich slum/scum landlords & take action. Hopefully TDC has learned from ignoring the gang of them that terrorised their tenants & even hired gangs of thugs to damage the properties, steal from them & in once case even beat a guy up & pour petrol over him for 15 odd years-while TDC turned a blind eye to it all & one assumes the police as well.

    • Steve; it was TDC that brought that case to court. Far from ignoring, Private Sector Housing and many other agencies actively worked with residents to help them tell their stories, and then brought the case; which is now considered to be one of the largest and most important in the UK in terms of tenant protection.

      The team that worked on that case at TDC won an award this week specifically for their efforts in supporting tenants and preparing the case.

      All the best,


  3. I think that generally speaking action all too often is taken too late.
    It’s pretty dire that people have to live in substandard and dangerous conditions for months or even years before action is taken.
    Good result on this occasion. Keep it up!

  4. They need to look at what is going on in their own portfolio of housing stock too, but when you raise it with Bob Porter he is not interested ….

  5. Only 4 I can’t believe Paul ***** wasn’t prosecuted I had 898 pages of proof and tried to sue him but he appeared with gas checks that are clearly invalid as the boiler had the cap missing causing carbon monoxide poisoning verified by sgn and the manufacturer of the boiler we also lost 4 animals due to toxic mould also have a report from vets council did nothing then mr Hutton evicted everyone from his properties which was documented (in the paper)

    • Yes, and also how long have these properties been under scrutiny ie. Are the prosecutions solely the result of the actions of the current council administration or were things initiated under the former couuncil.
      The council has been very selective over the years as to properties it takes action against, there are numerous flats in converted buildings that get no attention due to issues of missing freeholders and leaseholder landlords who under the terms of their leases are not responsible for repairs to a buildings structure, these get overlooked.

  6. Bob Porter is a disgrace. Head of housing that should have gone a while ago. People like Cllr Helen whitehead propping up this nonsense as the head of a poorly run portfolio number of fines is shameful walk the streets in your ward you could find fines in most. This councillor is nothing but a keyboard warrior.

    • Absolutely agree with Charlotte. Cllr Helen Whitehead is a Labour politician. Like her party leader, she believes in nothing but maintaining the status quo, virtue-signalling along the way to try and convince the public she cares.

      • Dear Anonymous;

        If you’d like to discuss what I do, and have done, I hold weekly two hour surgeries specifically to support those in housing need; you’re more than welcome to attend, or watch the well over a hundred council meetings that I have spoken at online.

        You could also look at the fact that since I became portfolio holder we have increased our genuinely affordable (rented at LHA rate) housing production by over 400%, as well as growing our in house temporary accommodation to keep residents in area when they are affected by the external property market/gentrification.

        Alternatively you can look at over five years of work on my page, which I’ll attach below.

        All the best,


        • Your surgeries are just cllrs talking the kind you of nonsense we expect to hear from politicians that only care about themselves and the financial interests of your corporate paymasters. You are a Labour politician, which means you don’t support striking workers that deserve an inflation matching pay rise, you support tuition fees, privatisation of the NHS and education, massive shareholder dividends and exec bonuses for failing water companies, and generally favour corporate interests over working people. If you didn’t support any of these things you wouldn’t be a Labour politician. Pretend you care about poverty all you like, it’s all just an act and many people see straight through it. You only have to look at who is funding the Labour Party to know who they are working for- Private Healthcare and energy companies. People don’t respect you because your party doesn’t respect the people.

          • “People don’t respect you because your party doesn’t respect the people.”

            Sounds more like you don’t respect yourself and you’re projecting that onto a political party comprised of hundreds, if not thousands of differing ideologies and living circumstances…

            (I’d also look into what you’re claiming they DONT support too…you might end up with a bit of egg on your face)…

      • You have no sense of self awareness, in regards to the fact you’re signalling your own virtues (or lack thereof) and projecting that onto the Cllr, right?

    • Dear Charlotte;

      If you’d like to discuss what I do and have done, I run a weekly housing surgery, 12 – 2 each Thursday; because I very much do not do “nothing”, and being active on social media to identify cases is a positive.

      All the best,


    • Paul link; we present all information on our properties quarterly at Council, so that our performance can be scrutinised, and these are also presented to the housing ombudsman, as we are a social housing provider.

      If you would like to attend the next meeting, if you send me your email I’m more than happy to email you when it is coming up.

      All the best,


      • Someone needs to scrutinise Bob Porters ability to safeguard residents living conditions in Thanet, he has been made aware of numerous fire, gas and electrical hazards in Thanet and done NOTHING but ignore the warnings given. Shameful behaviour from the Head of Housing.

    • Dear C. Wright-Thruem;

      I’m lucky enough to work alongside some outstanding people at TDC, and as portfolio holder speak on their behalf, but the work that goes into the everyday running of Private Sector Housing is entirely them, and they deserve all the praise.

      There is nowhere near enough central funding for private sector monitoring or enforcement, so we do our best to ensure that they have everything they need internally, but they are still a small and very committed team with a huge workload; I’m incredibly proud of all they do.

      All the best,


      • I notice you didn’t reply to my comment Helen.

        Can you let us know when these fines are actually paid as, if they’re not, then this whole exercise was a pointless bit of PR.

        • “I notice you didn’t reply to my comment Helen.”

          Hark at the nature of this one, believing they’re just SO entitled to a reply.

  7. Most of these dodgy landlords hide behind dodgy letting agents in my experience – these are just the tip of the iceberg.
    Intimidation happens all the time, maybe not to this extreme as most are sly & cunning and know they have the upper hand with power over the tenant who just needs somewhere they can call home.
    All landlords see it as an investment only as leaving that sort of money in a bank with inflation they would actually lose money. Agents just want to keep them happy and get their monthly % – they sure aren’t there to look after the interests of the tenant in anyway. The whole system stinks.
    No matter what new regs the government put into place we will still see these rouge landlords with overseas investments trying to make as much money as possible and housing shortages here in the UK give them just that opportunity as the demand is so high.
    All thanks to Thatcher selling off all the council housing and not replacing them, the only fix would be £billions invested back into social housing but Labour or Tories have none of that in any of their plans.
    Well done Helen & TDC but don’t just sit back and feel happy with yourselves, get out there and go get the others!

  8. Dear Nora,

    It could simply be that I work alongside these Officers and know exactly how hard they work, and how little acknowledgement they get of that work, in a national environment that provides very little funding to do what is necessary to provide a stable housing sector.

    I am more than happy to praise those who work hard, and will continue to do so.

    All the best,


  9. “I read with great interest the recent news about Thanet Council prosecuting landlords over sub-standard homes. I find myself in a similar situation living in a flat that has been deemed hazardous by environmental officer.
    I’ve been facing a litany of problems. My flat was issued Hazard levels 1 and 2 the environmental officer, highlighting
    the dire state of disrepair. Despite this, my landlords response has been inadequate at best.
    I’ve had the gas company (SGN) out three times due to boiler issues pitting me at risk of CO exposure. The heating and hot water have been non existent since the installation. The adaptions that were initiated ended up costing me a substantial amount for storage of my belongings,as the workmen carried out their tasks
    To add insult to injury, these Hazard level 1 and 2 adaptions were later revoked, leaving me in a perilous living situation.Even more alarming, I’ve been advised not to use the boiler,as the set up poses a risk of CO exposure.
    This entire situation is beyond enfuriating, and it’s heartbreaking to see my landlord evading accountability for their reckless actions.
    Despite having a place to stay it would be inaccurate to say I have a home, as it is far from inadequate or fit for purpose.
    The presence of extensive mould and dampness has rendered my living space uninhabitable. Regrettably, I have been forced to discard my sofa and numerous items of clothing due to irreparable damage caused by these conditions. As if this were not distressing enough, I must rely solely on a kettle for basic washing and a cup of tea.
    Given my scoliosis, this situation has become especially challenging for is disheartening rmto find myself in a position where basic comforts and necessities are out of reach. I firmly believe that in 2023, no individual should have to endure conditions reminiscent of a bygone era.

    • If the boiler was that dangerous, SGN would disconnect it and place a warning sticker on it, you must surely have a gas safety certificate for the boiler and any other gas appliances in your home. If you haven’t then go to the council, as for having a Class 1 hazard , if this has been assessed under the Housing Health Safety Rating System HHSRS , then the council have a statutory duty to act.
      Ask the council what they are doing?

  10. Sgn have disconnected and put a sticker on it and it has been switched off. And ideal have written a safety danger do not use. I’ve done everything I possibly and lawfully can.

    • You haven’t said what you’ve done in respect of the council and its duty to act in the case of Class 1 hazards. I also find it hard to believe they haven’t acted in a case where there is no heating or hot water.

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