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Landlord forced to install heating

A local authority has forced a private landlord to install central heating and insulation in the home of an 89-year-old woman.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council used powers under the Housing Act 2004 to order landlord Barbra Mountford to carry out improvements at the semi-detached bungalow she lets out to pensioner Lessie Willott in Eaves Lane, Bucknall. Mrs Willott has been dependent on a gas fire and electric heaters since 1997.

The local authority issued an improvement notice to Mrs Mountford after its inspection team reported that the house had inadequate heating to the bathroom, kitchen, living room, front bedroom and rear bedroom. The team also found that rotten single-glazing windows meant the property had inadequate installation.

Mrs Mountford launched an appeal against the order, claiming that it was “excessive” and that she did not have the money to pay for the recommended work.

An independent Residential Property Tribunal, however, has ruled in favour of the council, agreeing that the property was inadequately heated.