Camden councillor pleads guilty to ‘landlord failings’ after his own council takes him to court
PUBLISHED: 11:04 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 11:04 18 January 2016
A councillor has admitted failing to carry out necessary improvement works to a home he lets out after in a prosecution brought by Camden Council.
Cllr Jonny Bucknell pleaded guilty to the charge at Highbury Magistrates Court, but asked for more time to prepare a statement of mitigating circumstances before sentencing.
Cllr Bucknell used to be Camden Conservatives’ spokesman for housing, and has been a councillor for Belsize Ward since 2010.
He admitted not making required improvements to his property in Chamberlain Street in Primrose Hill, which he rents out to a private tenant.
He was first ordered to make improvements to the flat on August 22, 2014, but failed to comply with the improvement notice within the required period of time.
Cllr Bucknell later moved the tenant into temporary accommodation at another property he owns in the same street.
But magistrates heard there was an intermittent period of time in which the tenant was still in the home requiring improvement.
Representing himself, Cllr Bucknell said he initially intended to plead not guilty, but changed his mind at the last minute.
He told the court there were “significant mitigating circumstances” which were complex in nature, and that he hadn’t prepared his statement of mitigation because of his last minute change of plea.
The court agreed to his request, and he will appear for sentencing before Highbury magistrates on Thursday.
Leaving court, Cllr Bucknell said he did not want to comment prior to sentencing.