A Northampton man who allowed the back garden of a house share to become a dumping ground has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in fines and clean-up costs.
More than 13 tonnes of rubbish had to be removed from 6 Peverel’s Way after Ian Kimpton failed to comply with notices ordering him to clean it up.
And Northampton Magistrates this month fined Mr Kimpton £1,500 and ruled he should pay costs of £9,524 following a successful prosecution brought by West Northamptonshire Council.
In addition, he must pay a £150 victim surcharge and £400 in compensation to a neighbour who experienced a rat infestation as a result of the build-up of rubbish.
The council is also now in control of the property after issuing Northampton’s first Interim Management Order under the Housing Act 2004, which allows local authorities to take over the running of a HMO where there is no fit and proper person available to do so.
Environmental Health officers and Northamptonshire Police officers first visited the address in November 2019, when warnings to clear up the mess were issued to Mr Kimpton and two lodgers. When those warnings were not heeded by the following month, a Community Protection Notice (CPN) to remove the waste was issued.
And when the CPN was also not complied with, the Environmental Health Team was forced to act, removing 10 tonnes of waste from the back garden, including sacks of rubbish, old furniture and appliances, and garden waste.
A prosecution scheduled for April 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic, but was launched again this year when officers had to return to the property to remove 3 tonnes of waste that had accumulated since the first clearance operation.
Alongside the Environmental Health investigation, the council’s Housing Enforcement team had been looking into living conditions inside the property and, working with Northamptonshire Police, issued an Emergency Prohibition Order in July 2020 to prevent the letting of rooms at the address.
However an inspection in January this year found the Order had been breached, with a number of tenants at risk in the property. An Interim Management Order was issued, allowing the council to take control of the property and find safe, suitable alternative accommodation for the tenants.
Stuart Timmiss, Executive Director of Place and Economy at West Northamptonshire CouncilEnforcement is always a last resort but the state of the garden was such that it posed a risk to the public, and I hope this result sends out a strong message that we will not hesitate to take swift action where there is a need to do so.
It is also important that everyone who is privately renting in West Northamptonshire has a safe, well-managed place to live, and the action taken allowed us to find suitable alternative accommodation for the tenants as well to take control of the property so that it can be brought up to a good standard.