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Buy to let investor's bill of £33,000 after found guilty of 15 offences

A buy to let investor who a judge said “cut corners” and exposed his tenants to “significant risk” has been ordered to pay nearly £33,000.

Russell Wayne Price of Newmarket was found guilty of 15 charges – 13 of which were under the Housing Act 2004 – following a three day trial at Ipswich magistrates court. 

The remaining two charges related to Price’s failure to provide information about the properties when requested. The 50-year-old had denied all of the charges at an earlier hearing.

The court heard that the charges related to two properties that Price let as HMOs. 

Both properties were subject to Prohibition Orders served in 2008 and 2010, banning them from being used as HMOs.

Housing officers inspected both properties in December 2016 and found safety concerns including a lack of sufficient fire detection and escape routes, a lack of gas or electrical safety certificates for either property, and a loose electrical socket.

Neither property was deemed to be up to a suitable standard of living conditions while exposed pipework, stairs without a handrail, damp and mould were also discovered.

Price was found guilty of all 15 charges. 

The District Judge Timothy King said: “There was a significant risk of harm to individuals.” He said Price had cut corners and ordered him to pay charges and fines totalling £25,900. 

Price must also pay the council’s costs in bringing the prosecution which brought the total to £32,980.

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