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Rogue landlord rented rooms in "squalid" houses, court rules

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: March 10, 2014


David McCabe

Comments (13)

A JUDGE has told a rogue landlord he rented rooms in “squalid and dilapidated” houses to desperate tenants.

Recorder Simon Foster, sitting with two magistrates, upheld 18 convictions in an appeal brought by 59-year-old David McCabe. The bench at Plymouth Crown Court upheld his appeal against ten further charges related to the two rented properties.

The findings mean Plymouth City Council can go ahead with its bid to ban McCabe from renting rooms to people on housing benefit.

The authority has launched a pioneering legal application for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order.

It has been put on hold pending McCabe’s appeal but proceedings will now begin again before Plymouth magistrates.

Recorder Foster told McCabe: “Tenants in desperate circumstances were installed in woefully inadequate squalid accommodation. The monies you obtained were almost always from housing benefit.”

Plymouth magistrates fined McCabe £28,0000 for failing to clean up two homes and breaching housing regulations in December 2012.

McCabe, of Molesworth Road, Stoke had denied two charges of failing to comply with improvement notices and 26 specific breaches in relation to his homes in Wolsdon Street and Wyndham Street West, both in Stonehouse. But magistrates found him guilty and fined him £1,000 for each offence.

The judge and magistrates, concluding a much-delayed appeal, ruled that McCabe was to blame for a string of faults including loose carpet at the top of stairs which was a tripping hazard.

Kitchen windows were seized shut and covered in moss and sinks were broken and poorly repaired.

A yard at one of the homes was full of what the judge called “junk” and toilets and bathrooms were filthy.

The court heard that most of the tenants with single men and many had alcohol or mental health problems.

But the bench reduced fines on most of the remaining convictions, so McCabe will have to pay a total of £8,000.

He will also have to pay £4,500 towards the city council’s costs, as well as paying his own undisclosed barrister’s fee for three days in court.

McCabe refused to comment.

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  • 1watcher  |  March 17 2014, 6:10PM

    ........................anyone who is desperate !!!!!!

    Rate   9
  • 1watcher  |  March 17 2014, 6:08PM

    dr_who ...... Get a life, experience the REAL world, read the court case again and please try to understand that you got it all upside down !! If you become a vulnerable person (for whatever reason) I hope you don't have to rely on a Landlord that offers you a SLUM to live in and I do hope that you are not judged by people who have a similar attitude as you have. People who have no money for deposits for decent housing end up going to him. He is only in it for the money. By the way, not all drug addicts and alcoholics are men and pigs don't live in squalor !! Squalor is created by humans for themselves and in this case, others !! This landlord offers slumy rented property to

    Rate   10
  • dr_who  |  March 14 2014, 4:14PM

    I have always found that pigs generally live in squalor. Now if men who are alcoholics and drug addicts would like to live in the Hilton then I would suggest they find something useful to do with their empty days and try cleaning up after themselves, tacking down some carpet should be no tasking matter and putting rubbish out for collection is a job most of us find simple enough to do each week. Personally, if I was a landlord, I would not be paying out thousands of pounds in maintenance/repairs for it to be treated like a doss house and be back in the same state of disrepair months later. People have rights but they also have a responsibility to do basic things themselves. It's funny how they are classed as vulnerable but quite often burgle and rob to fund their addictions, they don't seem so vulnerable then do they?

    Rate   -8
  • 1watcher  |  March 12 2014, 5:40PM

    Theglibster .... WHAT ARE YOU SAYING ??

    Rate   8
  • Theglibster  |  March 12 2014, 5:17PM

    Nice to hear the City Council being involved in this. I know personally of circumstances where they gave money in to the hands of tenants and not the landlord. Who really would wish to provide social housing and gamble on getting any money. Sorry good honest people are a load of horrid scumbags out there that work the system with it seems the help of the Council being so hopeless. Said from personal experience and seeing an 68 year old pensioner being called a liar.

    Rate   -9
  • 1watcher  |  March 11 2014, 6:13PM

    Gloria ........ get off this comment thread !!

    Rate   6
  • 1watcher  |  March 11 2014, 6:09PM

    I know this guy and to be honest he has been at it for years. I know some of his tenants who have moved in, signed forms and then HE fills them in and gives them to the council. Some don't even know how much their rent is .... how can this be ???

    Rate   14
  • Shelley89  |  March 11 2014, 3:33PM

    @Tony248, The council only inspect the place prior to a tenant moving in if the Tenant is using PATH to get accommodation, PATH provide rent and deposit guarantors for people who need it and can prove they need it. I'm not saying that all landlords are bad but so far between myself and my husband 6 and we're now desperately trying to leave the place we're in due to its condition and other factors. Unfortunately with rent prices going up it makes it very difficult.

    Rate   3
  • teekers  |  March 11 2014, 1:31PM

    Surely the point is here is that a landord who is happy to accept rents from the most vulnerable in society is also equally happy to endanger their lives by not fulfilling the minumum safety requirements

    Rate   7
  • Tony248  |  March 11 2014, 8:22AM

    Scammer Alert!!

    Rate   2