By Gavin Mackintosh-
Essex rogue landlord , Robert Crow is to evict all his tenants after a £39k fine appeal was rejected. 69 year old Crow was convicted in May 2016 and fined £39k for breaches to an Hmo accommodation where he was accused of leaving his accommodation in a poor state, contrary to statutory laws contained in the Housing Act 2004. He was again found guilty in his absence on September 3rd, 2018, but this time fined £44k for similar breaches, with a criminal behaviour order attached to it.
He appealed both convictions at Basildon Crown Court, and was granted a second hearing for his most recent conviction, now scheduled for February 2019. His other appeal was for permission for leave for appeal for the 2016 conviction. That request was rejected on November 22nd, leaving the notorious landlord in a financial predicament that effectively means he has to complete the fines for it. Crow, who represented himself, claims a barrister with whom he had arrangements for an incremental payment of fees, lost confidence in him when he read an article online we published announcing his rent takings had been stopped by Southend Borough Council.
The Eye Of Media.Com heard that Southend Borough Council had stopped all his rent takings in housing benefits because of his conviction and a prohibition order forbidding him to rent certain parts of the property, which he violated. An angry mr.Crow told this publication: ‘this is out of order, the crown court judge wouldn’t even let me present my defence just because I didn’t have a barrister there. Attempting to blame us for the absence of his barrister, he said:
”I don’t think it was right for you to publish an article announcing that my income had been stopped, you should have been challenging the Council about that. Southend Council are trying to bankrupt me, how am I meant to pay my mortgages if all my income is stopped? This is a rogue council, but you lot are joining the local media in referring to me as a rogue landlord. I am going to fight this with everything in me, I will have to appeal to a higher court, but it looks like the council are trying to absolutely drain my resources and prevent me from being able to fight back”.
Crow himself informed us of the Council’s decision to close down his income, expecting us to challenge the council about this. This publication has engaged the council in the past on matters relating to Crow’s case, but he has not satisfied our own requirements for keeping his property to standards we onsider acceptable. Some improvements were noted during our last visit there, but there is still much to be done. The back of his property facing some of his neighbours is a state, but Crow says it is in progress.
Dump Behind Mr.Crow’s Property
Crow is behind in payments for mortgages for three of his four flats, all of which have court orders on them. The controversial landlord has also given two week notices to all six of his residents who come under the legal category of lodgers because mr. Crow lives in the property with them. Unlike tenants who are entitled to two months notice before an eviction, lodgers are only required to have 2 weeks notice. A distraught Crow said: ”I can’t have anybody live here for free. I am a humanitarian and don’t want to see anybody on the streets, but I now have no choice because I have to replace these tenants and find a way to challenge the council’s decision or look for working tenants”.
Crow’s problems may get more complicated because some of his lodgers have expressed an intention to refuse to leave and force him to take them to court. One of his lodgers who did not want to be named said: ” there is no way I will be on the streets this Christmas. He is going to have to take me to court if he wants me out. It is not my fault if he can’t satisfy the council’s requirements”.
Crow has the option of selling his property, and was advised early this year by this publication to do so and get on with his life. He admits his friends and family have advice him the same, but considers that a defeat to the council and his neighbours. Crow added: ”why should I be forced to sell just because a bunch of gangsters are trying to break me down? I am a fighter and I am going to keep fighting. The location of my property is close to the town where there are many homeless people in need of shelter. I can’t just give that up because the council want me to”.
Crow is hoping to get financial support to fight his appeal from some well off members of his family and former business associates, but most of them want him to provide concrete assurance of how and when he will be able to pay them back. His property was last estimated to be worth £700,000 in August 2017. He has agreed for this publication to conduct a survey before his court case next January, so that we can have a current valuation of the property for the purposes of fact verification.