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Seven people in a one bed property - hefty fine for buy to let investor

A buy to let investor has been fined almost £5,000 after admitting overcrowding. 

Matteo Mariano, from Gedling in Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court to breaching a prohibition order requiring him to limit the number of occupants to two or fewer.

Officers from Nottingham city council visited Mariano’s one-bedroom property in March and found seven people living there.

This included five children, aged between two and 16, some of whom were sleeping in a storeroom.

The council immediately served a prohibition order requiring Mr Mariano to reduce the number of occupants to no more than two people.

Officers visited the property again in May to make sure this had been carried out. However, it was found that the same number of people were still living there from the previous visit. 

Mariano appeared at court earlier this month and was fined £3,000 with £1,575 of legal costs, £944.94 investigation costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

A spokesman for the council says: “It was a major concern for officers to find so many people cramped into a small, one-bedroom property. Lack of space and overcrowded conditions have been linked to a number of health problems, including psychological distress and mental disorders, especially those associated with a lack of privacy and childhood development.

“Crowded conditions are also linked with the spread of contagious illnesses and an increased risk of accidents. Mr Mariano paid scant regard to any of this, and clearly placed personal profit ahead of the safety and well-being of his tenants.

“The vast majority of landlords in Nottingham are law-abiding and respectful. However, people should be in no doubt that we will seek out those who put tenants at risk, and bring them before the courts.”

This is not Mariano’s first offence. 

In 2014, the same property was inspected by council officers and an Emergency Prohibition Order was served because of a number of serious hazards and defects. This prohibited the property being used for living and sleeping accommodation.

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