A local authority has described a lettings property as “a real House of Horrors that put the health and safety of the occupants at serious risk”
Buy to let investor Hamedur Choudhury has been prosecuted for failing to properly maintain and manage his property, which put the health and safety of his tenants at risk.
Mid Sussex council carried out an inspection of Choudhury’s property at Copthorne after receiving a number of complaints from tenants. The property, which is a House of Multiple Occupation, was found to be in an extremely poor state of repair.
The issues were so serious that the council undertook immediate emergency repair works to ensure the safety of the tenants.
The council repaired unsafe electrics, removed combustible items from the stairwell, repaired a faulty fire alarm system and reinstated hot water and heating in the building.
The authority also issued Choudhury with an Improvement Notice that required him to rectify an extensive list of further defects and instructed him repay the cost of the emergency repair works.
The property had serious problems with damp and mould growth, excess cold, pests and refuse, sanitation and drainage, electrical hazards and fire safety but Choudhury failed to correct these issues.
Now Choudhury has pleaded guilty at Crawley Magistrates Court to failing to comply with the terms of an Improvement Notice, as well as offences relating to the breach of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations and failing to licence a House of Multiple Occupation.
He was fined a total of £17,012.89, including the council’s costs.
A council spokesman says: “The living conditions we discovered at this property were completely unacceptable. It was a real House of Horrors that put the health and safety of the occupants at serious risk. All rented accommodation must provide a safe and healthy environment for tenants and their visitors. If these standards are not being met our advice is always to inform the landlord first, to give them the opportunity to fix any problems. However, if a rogue landlord refuses to take their responsibilities seriously then we won’t hesitate to take action against them to ensure that they comply with the law.”