A buy to let investor has ended up with a bill for thousands of pounds after being found guilty of breaching a council’s Prohibition Order.
Mahfuzur Rahman was ordered to pay a £1,800 fine, £4,000 costs and a £90 victim surcharge following the prosecution by Colchester local authority.
Rahman and his father, Mr Mohibur Rahman, who owns the property, were both served with a Prohibition Order in June 2017 stating that the property could not be lived in due to its unsafe condition, but continued to permit the property to be occupied.
Following evidence presented at the trial, a court found Mahfuzur Rahman guilty of this offence, despite him previously denying this.
His father was separately prosecuted for the same offences in January this year.
During an inspection of the property by the council's private sector housing team a year ago, six serious housing hazards were found.
These were assessed as 'Category One' hazards using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, under the Housing Act 2004.
These included overcrowded conditions, poor sanitation caused by poor plumbing and hygiene in the kitchen and bathrooms, a lack of fire precautions, damp and mould, and a risk of burns from scalding water.
The Prohibition Order served on the father and son instructed them to stop using the premises as residential accommodation within 28 days.
At a further inspection in July 2017, the property was found to still be occupied – a breach of the requirements of the Prohibition Order – and legal proceedings began.
Magistrates heard the flat has been continuously occupied by different households, whose health and safety has been at risk from the living conditions. During visits to the property, housing advice has been provided to the property’s occupants.