Housing charity branded ‘most prosecuted landlord’ closes down

A housing charity, which was branded the ‘UK's most prosecuted landlord’ in a list compiled by The Guardian, has closed down.

The Charity Commission has announced it opened an inquiry into the Bristol-based charity, Alternative Housing, in July 2017, shortly after the Guardian reported the charity topped its list of the UK's ‘most prosecuted landlords’.

The charity was established to help house those in need due to their age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage in Bristol.

However, in May 2017, The Guardian reported the charity had been convicted of housing offences ‘six times’ over the two years prior to publication, for allowing people to live in properties with issues such as overflowing sewage. The newspaper reported the charity had been fined over £40,000 during that period.

The Charity Commission said it opened an inquiry into the charity when its attention was drawn to the numerous breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006 and a subsequent appeal against them was dismissed.

The regulator sought to examine the extent to which there was misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity; the extent to which there was a significant breach of trust or non-compliance with charity law; and the extent to which there was a significant risk to charity property and/or beneficiaries.

Its inquiry subsequently found the charity has ceased to operate and it has now been removed from its register.

The watchdog has said it is unable to comment further while the inquiry is still ongoing.

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