A landlord and the property company of which he is director have been convicted and ordered to pay more than £17,000 in fines and legal costs following a trial in East Anglia.
Francis Investments (East Anglia) Limited and Ralph Bernard, both of Ipswich, have been convicted of a range of offences relating to the management of an HMO.
A probe by Ipswich council established that the property was unlicensed and had insufficient fire safety precautions with an inadequate alarm system and no fire doors.
The investigation also revealed several items of disrepair including a poorly installed electric light to the bathroom, a missing baluster to the staircase, the kitchen floor in poor condition, a faulty cooker and a poorly maintained garden with a dumped mattress.
Ipswich Magistrates returned guilty verdicts on all nine charges brought under the Housing Act 2004, covering the failure to licence the HMO and failing in duties to protect residents’ health, safety and well-being.
An Ipswich council spokesperson says: “[We expect] all private landlords to meet their legal obligations for any Houses in Multiple Occupation that they rent out. We will enforce the law against the few who try and avoid the law and we will work to ensure private tenants live in safe and well-managed accommodation.”